South African Instrumentation and Control | Recovery of Nutrients from Wastewater
Nov 15, 2017 – Read original article
(December 2017 issue – System Integration & Control Systems Design)
Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies (Ostara) based in Vancouver, Canada, has become a leader in the recovery of nutrients. The company uses a special technique to remove pollutants from wastewater and transform them into a continuous release, root-activated fertiliser. The company’s breakthrough proprietary process is being used by a variety of municipal wastewater facilities throughout Europe and North America. Ostara opted to use solutions from its long-term technology partner Siemens, both for components used in the construction of its plants, and also for monitoring them remotely.
Phosphorus and nitrogen are considered unwanted pollutants in wastewater, but they are highly suitable for use as fertilisers. Ostara has developed a method of removing these substances from wastewater and further processing them to produce fertiliser granulate, using its fluidised bed reactor known as Pearl.
Siemens supplies Ostara with an extensive package of components. These include Sinamics G120 frequency converters, pumps and valves for Pearl, as well as communication technology such as the distributed I/O Simatic ET200 and Simocode motor control systems for remote monitoring of plants operated by customers over the world. Data relating to temperature, flow and pressure transferred using this technology provides Ostara employees with important information about the status of an entire plant. Systems can be integrated seamlessly and simply into on-site structures using Simatic Microbox PCs, Simatic WinCC software and the relevant Profibus protocols Profi DP/PA/Net, and simultaneously centrally merged at the Ostara headquarters.
All-round complete package
“We require data from plants installed in distant locations. If this data tells us that something needs updating or modifying, we can handle this remotely using the Siemens equipment. This is a decisive benefit for us,” explains Ted Jones, vice president of automation at Ostara. “Siemens provides us with an integrated solution, which means we don’t need to deal with an array of different technologies, but are able to rely on a single complete solution.” Particularly where a number of projects have to be implemented, as he points out, this saves an enormous amount of time. But for Ostara, the main issue is not only the technical components. “It’s one thing to have great technology solutions at your fingertips, and Siemens certainly has those. But it’s once you start working together that you realise how important it is to be surrounded by great people too. And the guys from Siemens are simply phenomenal,” concludes Jones.