Making Ripples

Ostara to build Canada’s largest nutrient recovery facility

Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies and EPCOR Water Services Inc. have partnered to build the largest nutrient recovery facility in Canada. The facility will recover phosphorus from the nutrient-rich wastewater stream from the Clover Bar biosolids settling lagoons located at the Edmonton Waste Management Centre and transform it into an eco-friendly, slow-release fertilizer, sold as Crystal Green®.

The nutrient recovery facility will feature Ostara’s Pearl® 10,000 and once fully operational in 2015, it will have an expected annual production of at least 2,000 tons of Crystal Green fertiliser. The facility will recover up to 85% of the phosphorus and 25% of the nitrogen from the lagoons, helping EPCOR to overcome the build-up of struvite scale, a concrete-like mineral deposit caused by excess nutrients that chokes process equipment, increases operating costs, and undermines plant reliability. The facility will also help protect the local watershed. Excess nutrient discharge into surface waters contributes to eutrophication: the growth of algae and other aquatic plants, which can reduce sunlight and oxygen levels to the point where other aquatic life cannot survive.

The recovered phosphorus and nitrogen are transformed into a uniquely Plant-Activated™ fertiliser that releases nutrients in response to root growth, resulting in greater efficiency, lower application rates, and reduced risk of nutrient loss through leaching and runoff. It will be sold through a network of fertilizer blenders and distributors growers in the specialty agriculture, turf and ornamental markets.

“Ostara’s process is a green win for EPCOR. Implementing Ostara’s nutrient recovery technology will help us reduce the amount of phosphorus that we are discharging to the North Saskatchewan River at the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant. As well, a reduction of phosphorus in our global system will significantly reduce the need to use chemicals to combat struvite build-up in our treatment system,” says Gavin Post, Project Manager.

“We are very excited to partner with EPCOR to build a commercial nutrient recovery facility in the City of Edmonton – this was the site of our first demonstration facility in 2007, and will now feature our Pearl 10,000, a scale-up 20 times the original installation,” said Ostara President and CEO, Phillip Abrary. “The Ostara process really represents a new paradigm in sustainability for wastewater treatment plants around the world. It provides a proven and affordable means of helping cities become better stewards of their environment through sound nutrient management practices.”

“As operators of one of the most advanced recycling facilities in the world, we are always looking for technologies to keep us ahead of the curve. With the rapid growth of Edmonton’s population, we now have a tool to help us better manage the liquid level of the Clover Bar lagoons, and most importantly, play an active role in reducing the environmental impact of nutrient pollution in the North Saskatchewan River,” said Post.

The nutrient recovery facility and process is currently being constructed by PCL Construction Management Inc. and Ostara, and EPCOR will operate the facility.

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