Ostara technology assisted in complete resource recovery in the transformation of a water treatment facility to an energy and nutrient factory in the Netherlands. To be launched in spring 2016 with the Dutch Waterboard’s Vallei en Veluwe and in partnership with Ostara and Eliquo Water & Energy BV, the factory features advanced digestion with thermal hydrolysis in combination with nutrient recovery.
At the plant, digestion was enhanced with LysoTherm thermal hydrolysis, resulting in production of sufficient energy to treat all the wastewater from the city of Amersfoort on a 100% energy-autonomous basis, as well as a surplus to provide 600 households with green electricity during the year.
Using Ostara’s nutrient recovery solution, the new facility also is able to produce approximately 1,000 tons of Crystal Green annually, which is recognized in Europe and North America as an enhanced-efficiency fertilizer. Residual ammonia is also removed from the Pearl effluent in DEMON, a simultaneous nitrification/deammonification process that converts nutrients to nitrogen gas.
Using Ostara’s Pearl and WASSTRIP technology in combination with thermal hydrolysis, 50 to 60% of phosphorus entering a wastewater treatment plant can be recovered. With thermal hydrolysis, the release of phosphorus and other nutrients in the digester is increased, escalating struvite formation both in the digester and in downstream assets. This also creates the opportunity to increase the phosphorus available for recovery and maximize operational benefits, such as chemical avoidance, reduced sludge and decreased struvite maintenance.
By leveraging Ostara’s advanced nutrient recovery technology, utilities on the path to energy autonomy can capitalize on their investment, while gaining an additional revenue stream through the manufacturing of a market-ready fertilizer. Bridging the gap between industry, technology and environment, the implementation of full-scale resource recovery validates the demand for circular systems that capitalize on resources that would otherwise go to waste.
The byproduct of Ostara’s process is the high value fertilizer Crystal Green, the only continuous-release, root-activated phosphorus fertilizer ready for commercial sale directly from utilities. With more than 14 facilities producing renewable fertilizer, Ostara has taken a stronghold in producing fertilizer for the agriculture market, meeting increased demand for a sustainable source of phosphorus.
As utilities play an increasing role in watershed management, Crystal Green also has a significant impact on non-point source pollution. Accredited university research now shows that Crystal Green not only improves crop performance, but also can reduce leaching by up to 75%, closing the loop on the phosphorus cycle. Crystal Green has been approved as a slow-release source of phosphorus by the Assn. of American Plant Food Control Officials and recognized as an approved input by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Conservation Stewardship Program.