Wetsus NaFRAd is a two-step approach where phosphorus is removed through

flocculation to remove particulate phosphorus and adsorption to remove the

soluble phosphorus. This approach has a very small plot size and low operational

costs. In the first step, natural organic flocculants are used with a sand filter that is

backwashed regularly to remove the collected matter. The particulates are allowed

to settle in a gravity separator to produce an organic sludge that can be reused

in agricultural applications. In the second step, soluble phosphorus is removed

through adsorption on a special granular iron oxide material with a high phosphate

adsorption capacity. This process can be regenerated on site at larger installations

or for smaller installations at a centralized off site facility. The phosphate recovered

from the regeneration liquid is a clean, green replacement of the phosphate rock currently mined in Florida. 


The team is composed of Leon Korving, Prashanth Kumar, Victor Ajao and Raimonda Buliauskaite. Wetsus is a European centre of excellence for sustainable water technology and develops breakthrough water technology together with more than 100 companies and 20 universities. Wetsus NaFRAd also won Phase 3 of Stage 1 and first place in Stage 2.