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.