Phosphorus recovery plants to open as EU considers action

Thames Water is about to become the first UK firm to recover phosphorus from wastewater. The EU is asking how phosphorus recovery can be increased

The UK’s first plant recovering phosphorus from wastewater is to open this month.

Canadian company Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies has installed the £2m plant at Thames Water’s Slough sewage treatment works.

It will treat sludge liquors – the concentrated, high-nutrient liquid pressed out of sewage sludge and normally returned to works – with magnesium chloride.

This will precipitate out struvite, a mineral containing phosphate, ammonia and magnesium that can be used as a slow-release fertiliser. It will produce about 150 tonnes a year.

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