Prashanth Kumar, Aquacare and Berndt Björlenius, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, performing tests at the Aquacare testbed in Knivsta, Sweden. Image: Kristofer Samuelsson

BONUS RETURN is exploring how technologies can turn nutrients causing eutrophication, such as phosphorus, into profitable and sustainable solutions that can be scaled up in the Baltic Sea region.

BioPhree, from Netherlands-based water treatment specialists Aquacare, and German company TerraNova’s Ultra, were both winners of a competition run by the project, whose aim was to identify promising nutrient-capture technologies. The winners are receiving pre-commercialization support aimed to achieve Technological Readiness Level (TRL) 6 or above. The support includes: product testbeds, help with business plans, product development, and introduction to potential markets in the Baltic region.

BioPhree captures dissolved phosphorus in water and generates a liquid fertilizer for agricultural use. It can be used in both surface water (e.g. lakes, rivers, streams and run-off from fields) and wastewater. It will be tested at a wastewater treatment plant in Knivsta municipality, north of Stockholm.

“My expectation of the tests is to get good data and results on phosphorus removal at a specific, well-defined wastewater treatment plant in Scandinavia. The tests will give us more data, knowledge, and possible market opportunities in the Baltic Sea region.”

— Koos Baas, Director at Aquacare

Baas also hopes the results of the testing will raise awareness on the effect phosphorus has in causing harmful algal blooms in the Baltic Sea.

The TerraNova® Ultra technology extracts phosphorus and, potentially, another nutrient that causes eutrophication, nitrogen. It also produces a charcoal-like fuel and boosts biogas production from sewage sludge in wastewater treatment plants. TerraNova is currently operating the first plant of this kind in China. TerraNova® Ultra is being tested at the Norrsundet Slamförädling AB pilot plant in Gävle, around 175 km outside Stockholm.

“Companies producing wet organic wastes such as sewage sludge, beer brewery waste, chicken manure etc. will be able to see real data on how hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) treatment performs on their waste and what products can be derived using the technology.”

— Rickard Widerberg, project engineer at Norrsundet Slamförädling AB.

Prashanth Kumar, researcher from Aquacare, at the Aquacare testbed in Knivsta, Sweden. Image: Kristofer Samuelsson

“To combat eutrophication, there is a need to test new solutions in real operative settings. Hopefully they fly and can play an important role for the whole of the Baltic region.”

— Sten Stenbeck, Senior Project leader at RISE Research Institutes of Sweden.