A growth opportunity - how recovery of phosphorus from wastewater is bringing success for Ostara



Recovery of phosphorus from municipal wastewater to produce fertiliser products is increasingly being recognised as a viable opportunity for utilities. Keith Hayward spoke with Phillip Abrary, Chairman and CEO of Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc., about his company’s growing success as the sector looks to play its part in a shift to a circular economy.

Ostara Chairman and CEO Phillip Abrary
Ostara Chairman and CEO Phillip Abrary

Four months ago, Vancouver-based Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc. celebrated what is likely to prove to be an important landmark for the company. This was when one of its latest phosphate recovery installations came on line at the Amersfoort wastewater treatment plant in the Netherlands. ‘It’s not the first plant in Europe, but it’s the first with our entire suite of technologies implemented in a fairly advanced sludge processing environment,’ comments Phillip Abrary, Ostara’s Chairman and CEO.

Ostara’s technologies allow for the recovery and processing of the phosphate found in municipal wastewater. Biological wastewater treatment can remove phosphate from the main flow, intentionally or unintentionally, so that it is then present in the sludge flow. Ostara’s technologies remove it from there and convert it to a high quality fertiliser product known as Crystal Green. The company has a demonstration installation in place in the UK, at Thames Water’s Slough sewage treatment plant, and a third European plant is just being completed in Madrid. The Amersfoort plant therefore marked the arrival of the technology in mainland Europe, in a country that has taken a lead exploring different approaches to wastewater management.

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  • USA, Canada, Europe, Netherlands, UK, Spain, Ostara, municipal wastewater, nutrient removal, phosphates, resource recovery