Wastewater-to-fertilizer plant captures nutrients
By Martin LaMonica
Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies later this week will dedicate a system that converts wastewater from sewage-treatment plants into fertilizer while recycling valuable phosphorus and nitrogen.
On Thursday, the Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) in Suffolk, Va., will host the official opening of the facility, the second commercial-scale plant to use Ostara’s technology. Long-time clean water advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is an investor in the company through his involvement with VantagePoint Venture Partners, will be a speaker at the event.
Because of environmental regulations, some wastewater treatment plants separate nutrients using bacteria to prevent them from being discharged into waterways. Ostara’s technology can be added to these plants to convert the separated wastewater into a sellable product called Crystal Green, explained Ostara CEO Phillip Abrary.
Instead of treating that wastewater with chemicals and disposing of the solids, the HRSD facility has installed three vessels that take in wastewater and mix it with the salt magnesium chloride. Water moves upward into the cone-shaped tank, called a fluidized bed reactor, which prevents the solid material from settling and causes crystals to form through a chemical reaction.
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