From Problem to Product…

Monday, November 29, 2010 - 09:45

Phosphorous–a vital, irreplaceable nutrient necessary for the growth of food–is rapidly being depleted; mined reserves will be exhausted within decades. University of British Columbia Provessor Don Mavinic and research collaborators have developed an innovative way to recycle problematic phosphorous from wastewater. Their solution not only replenishes the dwindling supply of the vital nutrient, helping to ensure our food supply, but also addresses problems inherent to phosphorous and wastewater: its overabundance depletes the oxygen in water, thus killing aquatic life; and it clogs pipes, resulting in costly maintenance issues.

The researchers have addressed three significant challenges and their patented process results in an environmentally-friendly, ultra-slow-release fertilizer that transforms a previous problem substance into a high-quality product. A UBC spin-off company, Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc. is commercializing this technology with reactors at wastewater treatment plants across North America and trialed across the globe.

Research Breakthroughs

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