New Technology Taps Unlikely Source For Commercial Fertilizer
A Virginia wastewater treatment plant is the first in Chesapeake Bay watershed to recover nutrients and transform them into "green" commercial fertilizer.
June 3, 2010
Through a ground-breaking public/private partnership, the Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) and Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc. has unveiled the first facility in the fragile Chesapeake Bay Watershed to benefit from Ostara’s innovative new technology that recovers nutrients including phosphorus and nitrogen from wastewater and transforms them into an environmentally friendly, commercial fertilizer. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. served as keynote speaker for the June 2 grand opening of the HRSD facility, which incorporates Ostara’s Pearl Nutrient Recovery Process at HRSD’s Nansemond Treatment Plant in Suffolk, VA.
Ostara’s Pearl process provides benefits to HRSD, its ratepayers, and the environment by increasing plant capacity and production efficiencies, while creating a premium fertilizer by-product from waste. The facility enhances HRSD’s significant efforts to remove excess nutrients from wastewater. The recovered nutrients, including phosphorus and nitrogen, are transformed at the Nansemond facility into an environmentally-friendly, commercial fertilizer called Crystal Green, which uses a slow-release formula to ensure that nutrients are absorbed by plants and thereby reduces fertilizer runoff from reaching and polluting the Bay’s fragile ecosystem.
"Our technology integrates into the treatment system, processes the liquids from the digested solids recycle streams and recovers phosphorus and other nutrients — and then converts them into a high-quality environmentally friendly commercial fertilizer, increasing operational efficiency for the plant," says Phillip Abrary, president and CEO of Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies. “This approach provides HRSD with a cost-effective and environmentally sound operational improvement and also creates a fertilizer product made from the only sustainable source of phosphorus – waste – which is nonleaching and therefore, helps to protect waterways.”