Through a technology licensing agreement with Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies, ACWA Services will offer an advanced nutrient recovery solution to UK water companies and anaerobic digestion (AD) operators.
Ostara’s Pearl process recovers 85 percent of the phosphorus and nitrogen from wastewater streams at municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plants and transforms them into fertilizer, marketed as Crystal Green (pictured).
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, this rock-like compound will rapidly scale pipes, tanks and equipment, leading to costly maintenance and plant downtime.
Not only could Ostara’s phosphorus recovery process help improve operational efficiency, it could save wastewater treatment plants hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. Meeting environmental compliance is also becoming more difficult as phosphorus consents are tightened.
With a focus on recovery rather than removal, the Ostara Pearl process uses controlled chemical precipitation within a fluidized bed reactor to extract the phosphorus from nutrient-rich feed streams, which is formed as struvite crystals to produce a continuous release fertilizer. The size of the pellets is precisely controlled in the reactor until they reach the desired size, at which point they can be extracted, dried and sold as fertilizer.
Under the agreement, ACWA will act as a UK delivery partner, and Ostara will manage the sale and marketing of the Crystal Green fertilizer produced by the process.