7.-8. May 2019 Phos4You working group meeting in Glasgow, Scotland
Glasgow Caledonian University hosted European partnership and showcased innovative P recovery procedure with microalgae
In May 2019 the Phos4You partnership joined for the 5th working group meeting. The 2 days’ meeting was filled up with intense work. The first day focused on the quality assessment of the products evolving from the Phos4You demonstrators. The University of Ghent is leading the activity and guided through several presentations on the parameters “Organics content”, “Inorganics content”, “Pathogens”, “Ecotoxicity” and “Phosphorus availability”.
At the second day experts from Scottish Water provided an insight into the Scottish setting: An overview about Scottish Water wastewater services was given (R&I Department), and the current situation of WWTPs and sewage sludge strategy in Scotland was explained (Wastewater Strategy Department).
Due to the rural settlements, Scotland counts for more than 1,826 wastewater treatment works. In addition, over 16,000 private septic tanks were emptied by Scottish Water in 2018/19. Therefore, to foster P removal and recovery, robust and low-maintenance technologies are required that operate with small amounts of waste water. The Glasgow Caledonian University has set up promising pilots using a specific microalgae that is able to accumulate P from water water. The extremophile microalgae Chlamydomonas acidophila, which grows at a pH of 2-3, appears to have potential for P recovery at these sites, as it has high phosphorus and nitrogen uptake rates (up to 90%) whilst operating at low temperatures and low light intensity.
GCU has demonstrated with a 75 l photobioreactor designed by Greenskill Ltd. that C. acidophila enables the achievement of a 50-75% phosphorus recovery rate. After harvesting, the biomass of microalgae containing the recovered phosphorus and nitrogen can be used directly as fertiliser. So, the working group’s site visit was especially interesting for the Phos4You partnership: Scottish Water Horizon runs a Waste water Development Centre in Bo’ness near Falkirk, where in a next step a 500 l photobioreactor is set up at the wwtp to see the microalgae operating in real environment.
The technology creates interest also at further expert groups: May 10th 2019, 23 students and 5 staff members from the Technical university of Mittelhessen visited Bo’ness.
The upcoming public Phos4You dissemination event will be 6th – 8th October 2019 in Belgium: Phos4You will disseminate project’s results during the European Conference on Sludge Management 2019 at the University of Liège: https://events.uliege.be/ecsm2019/