Phosphorus recovery set to reduce costs and create revenue for UK water and AD firms

Jan 12, 2016

ACWA Services, part of ACWA Group, is to offer an advanced nutrient recovery solution to UK water companies and AD operators, following a technology licensing agreement with Vancouver-based Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc.

Global nutrient management solutions provider Ostara’s Pearl® process recovers phosphorus and nitrogen from wastewater streams at municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plants and transforms them into a high-value, eco-friendly fertiliser, marketed as Crystal Green®.

By recovering potentially polluting nutrients from treatment facility’s wastewater stream and converting them to continuous release fertiliser, Ostara’s technology is helping facilities enhance their operational efficiency .

“Ostara’s phosphorus recovery technology is an excellent fit with our existing wastewater treatment solutions as it complements our AMTREAT® ammonia removal process used by leading wastewater treatment companies in the UK,” said Peter Brewer, UK General Manager for ACWA. Brewer added: “The ability to recover phosphorus: an essential and fast depleting natural resource required for increased global food production, while creating an additional revenue stream for our water industry customers, is particularly attractive. The annual savings in chemical dosing alone for some wastewater treatment plants could be in the hundreds of thousands of pounds.”

Phosphorus forms as struvite in high strength wastewater streams and sludge liquors commonly associated with thermal hydrolysis and AD infrastructure and is currently controlled in UK wastewater treatment facilities with expensive chemical dosing.

This only temporarily relieves struvite problems and also generates solid waste requiring disposal.  Left unchecked, the rock-like compound will rapidly scale pipes, tanks and equipment, leading to costly maintenance and plant downtime. Meeting environmental compliance is also becoming more difficult as phosphorus consents are tightened.

Phillip Abrary, president and CEO of Ostara said: “We are very pleased to partner with ACWA Services to complement their AMTREAT® recovery process with a cost-effective and innovative water treatment technology for phosphorus recovery, which will serve to enhance operational efficiencies, and progress environmental stewardship of UK wastewater treatment facilities.”

With the focus on recovery rather than removal, the process recovers up to 85 per cent of the phosphorus, enabling facilities to save on annual chemical costs, reducing maintenance costs and reducing the production of biosolids whilst creating a valuable new revenue stream.

Under the agreement ACWA will act as a UK delivery partner with responsibility for the design, installation and commissioning of all M&E equipment and associated civils where required, with key components supplied under licence by Ostara.

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