Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New method to remove phosphorus from wastewater

Date:
August 15, 2012
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
Researchers are developing a new method of removing phosphorus from wastewater -- a problem seriously affecting lakes and streams across the United States.

Steve Safferman (r), associate professor of biosystems and agricultural engineering, and student Hayley Betker are working to develop a new method of removing phosphorus from wastewater. Phosphorus runoff into lakes and streams can seriously affect the health of the water.
Credit: Photo by Kurt Stepnitz

A professor at Michigan State University is part of a team developing a new method of removing phosphorus from wastewater -- a problem seriously affecting lakes and streams across the United States.

In addition, Steven Safferman, an associate professor of biosystems and agricultural engineering, and colleagues at Columbus, Ohio, based-MetaMateria Technologies, are devising a cost-effective way of recovering the phosphorus, which then can be reused for fertilizer products.

Although its use is regulated in many states, including Michigan, in items such as detergents and fertilizer, phosphorus is part of all food and remains a critical problem as it is always present in human and animal wastes.

Discharge from human and industrial wastewater and runoff into lakes and streams can cause what is known as eutrophication -- making the water unsuitable for recreational purposes and reducing fish populations -- as well as causing the growth of toxic algae.

What MetaMateria Technologies and Safferman have figured out and tested over the past 10 years is how to produce a media, enhanced with nanoparticles composed of iron, that can more efficiently remove larger amounts of phosphorus from water.

"Phosphorus that is dissolved in wastewater, like sugar in water, is hard to remove," Safferman said. "We found that a nano-media made with waste iron can efficiently absorb it, making it a solid that can be easily and efficiently removed and recovered for beneficial reuse."

Safferman added there are indications that their method of phosphorus retrieval is much more cost effective than processing phosphate rock.

"Research suggests that it is significantly cheaper to recover phosphorus this way. So why would you mine phosphorus?" he asked. "And, at the same time, you're helping to solve a serious environmental problem."

The material should be commercially available for use within two years, said J. Richard Schorr, MetaMateria CEO.

"Phosphorus is a finite material," Schorr said "Analyses show that the supply of phosphorus may become limited within the next 25 to 50 years. This is an economical way to harvest and recycle phosphorus."

This research is funded, in part, by a National Science Foundation Small Business Innovative Research Grant.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "New method to remove phosphorus from wastewater." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120815112243.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2012, August 15). New method to remove phosphorus from wastewater. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 3, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120815112243.htm
Michigan State University. "New method to remove phosphorus from wastewater." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120815112243.htm (accessed September 3, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Thousands of Fish Dead in Mexico Lake

Raw: Thousands of Fish Dead in Mexico Lake

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) — Over 53 tons of rotting fish have been removed from Lake Cajititlan in western Jalisco state. Authorities say that the thousands of fish did not die of natural causes. (Sep. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Iceland Volcano Spewing Smoke

Raw: Iceland Volcano Spewing Smoke

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) — The alert warning for the area surrounding Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano was kept at orange on Tuesday, indicating increased unrest with greater potential for an eruption. Smoke is spewing from the volcano, and lava is spouting nearby. (Sept. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Halliburton Reaches $1B Gulf Spill Settlement

Halliburton Reaches $1B Gulf Spill Settlement

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) — Halliburton's agreement to pay more than $1 billion to settle numerous claims involving the 2010 BP oil spill could be a way to diminish years of costly litigation. A federal judge still has to approve the settlement. (Sept. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins