Finding technological solutions for phosphorus removal

Phosphorus is an essential element for plant life and is used on crops to help them grow, but if too much phosphorus ends up in the water, it can have a negative impact on life in our rivers and lakes.

The University’s Environmental Technology Field Station

Researchers at the University of Portsmouth are now working with Southern Water, Microvi Biotech, IncWesTech Engineering, Inc to find technological solutions for phosphorus removal, while having the least impact on the environment.

The nine-month project will use Microvi’s technology for phosphorus, removal and recovery and the University will support the project with scientific knowledge and in-depth analysis, working from its Environmental Technology Field Station near Petersfield.

Current solutions for achieving these challenging phosphorus consents rely on dosing high concentrations of costly metal salts, locking up phosphorus and generating large masses of low-value solids with a high disposal cost.

The goal of this demonstration is to reduce total phosphorus to levels below 0.1 milligrams per litre for wastewater treatment plants.

Using WesTech’s processing equipment, Microvi’s MicroNiche Engineering (MNE) intensifies wastewater treatment, which means it has the potential to treat more water in less time. This alleviates the need to increase the footprint of a plant to meet the demands of a growing population and more stringent environmental standards. It also reduces chemical use and biosolids production, leading to reduced total costs.

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