Wastewater research grabs EPA attention in the US

[USA] The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded research by the Flinders School of the Environment a top 10 spot in its ranking of 75 entries in the Nutrient Recycling Challenge.

Flinders environmental health honours graduate Jordan Phasey recenlty attended a forum for the top researchers in Washington DC, and also received an award at a reception at the White House.

The US EPA, with sponsorship from American primary industry, runs the international competition to identify promising technologies that can recycle nutrients from livestock waste and create valuable by-products.

Mr Phasey, who works as a water quality expert for the Power and Water Corporation in the Northern Territory, completed an honours project on improving the process of removing algae from treated wastewater.

A research concept by Mr Phasey, written with Professor Howard Fallowfield and Belgian researcher Dr Dries Van Damme and entitledNutrient Recycling by Lime Treatment and Precipitation of Inorganic Salts, was submitted to the Challenge.

Professor Fallowfield said that after wastewater has been treated using algae, the algal biomass, present in the water as a suspended solid, needs to be retrieved in a way that is economical and energetically balanced.

“Jordan looked at novel ways to achieve chemical flocculation – getting the algae to clump together and drop out of the water,” Professor Fallowfield said.

He said that a relatively cheap and simple method of flocculation using slaked lime and magnesium chloride was successfully tested at the University’s trial wastewater pond at Kingston-on-Murray.

When harnessed to the University’s soon to be constructed, integrated experimental system of anaerobic and aerobic, algal treatment of modified pig slurry, the new flocculation method will enable harvesting of the algae and recovery of valuable nitrogen and phosphorus.


Photo: Mr Jordan Phasey (right) in Washington with US EPA staff, Ms Ellen Gilinsky (Senior Adviser, Office Of Water) and Mr Andrew Sawyers (Director, Office of Wastewater Management).

View original article at: Wastewater research grabs EPA attention in the US

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