Navigation Links
Benefits abound with recently patented system that reduces phosphorus in wastewater
Date:12/5/2011

MANHATTAN, KAN. -- A team of bioprocessing engineers with Kansas State University's Advanced Manufacturing Institute has been issued a patent for a system that removes phosphorus from wastewater and addresses environmental regulations.

Excess phosphate from both animal and human wastewater is an important environmental problem. It can pollute water resources and cause algae blooms, a problem that was present in many Kansas lakes and reservoirs this summer.

The phosphorus reduction system, called Phred for short, is an easy-to-use fully automated system that removes up to 60 percent of phosphorus in wastewater from cattle feedlots. The system was issued as a patent titled "Fluidized bed precipitator with optimized solids settling and solids handling features for use in recovering phosphorus from wastewater" to the Kansas State University Research Foundation, a nonprofit corporation responsible for managing the technology transfer activities of the university.

"In essence, the system changes the chemistry of wastewater from the feedlot. It runs the water through the reactor and the phosphorus is retained in pellet form. A chemical reaction occurs, so the water comes out with lower phosphate levels," said Sigifredo Castro Diaz, a bioprocessing engineer with the Advanced Manufacturing Institute, or AMI, who helped create the patented system.

"Through this system, we can recycle the excess phosphate, while before it could be wasted and end up feeding algae water in lakes," Diaz said.

The project started as a partnership with Kansas Environmental Management Associates, or KEMA. The researchers created a pilot system in the laboratory then used a scale version on the university's lagoon or the feeding operation pond. Finally, the team developed a large-scale system to use at Supreme Cattle Feeders near Liberal, Kan.

The final patented system works by removing phosphorus from lagoons and trapping it in pellet form, making it easier to distribute and package. By doing so, it addresses two important farming concerns involving irrigation.

"Without the system, if farmers reuse the wastewater and there is too much phosphorus in it, they can face fines by the EPA," Diaz said. "But during a drought, it is not helpful to have all this water that they cannot use because of the phosphorus content. So with this phosphorus reduction system, farmers can remove the phosphorus and safely use the water."

As a result, the system helps farmers cut costs while following Environmental Protection Agency regulations. Farmers can purchase the system with assistance from the Environmental Quality Incentive Program, a federal program that provides assistance to farmers. While competitive systems exist, they are often more expensive, less efficient and less applicable to agricultural wastewater, the researchers said.

"The development of the Phred system provides livestock farms and others with a valuable tool to protect our nation's lakes, streams and estuaries, and KEMA is proud to be the driving force behind its development," said Kylo Heller, director of development for KEMA.

Diaz is now leading related research projects through partnerships with Kansas State University and other organizations. The team is improving the efficiency of the current bioprocessing system by partnering with additional AMI and university researchers, such as Larry Glasgow, professor of chemical engineering.

The researchers are discovering uses for the phosphorus pellets that come from the system. Kimberly Williams, professor of horticulture, worked on a nutrient release study and found several important advantages of phosphorus pellets as fertilizer for lawns and plants. For instance, the pellets are a natural slow-release fertilizer, meaning they slowly release nutrients to plants.

Similarly, the team is looking at ways to decrease phosphorus in cattle feed. Doing so will prevent excess phosphorus from entering the ecosystem.

While the current system is optimally designed for wastewater from cattle feedlots, Diaz has been leading efforts to apply the same method at dairy and hog farms. The wastewater from these farms is different because it often comes from indoor barns that produce more phosphate-concentrated wastewater. The researchers have proved that the same system can work with both types of farms and are now working to fine-tune it.


'/>"/>
Contact: Lea Studer
lstuder@k-state.edu
785-532-3432
Kansas State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. 3 researchers in the Amazon clear up doubts as to the benefits of ecotourism
2. Advanced Medical Care for At-Risk Newborns Nets Economic Benefits
3. Report provides new analysis of carbon accounting, biomass use, and climate benefits
4. Commercial dry petfood has significant benefits for oral health in cats and dogs
5. Health benefits of broccoli require the whole food, not supplements
6. Everest expedition suggests nitric oxide benefits for intensive care patients
7. Eating balanced meals, farm-fresh produce benefits families, communities, nutrition researchers say
8. TGen breast cancer research benefits from $3.5 million Komen award
9. Despite proven benefits, few brain aneurysm patients receive specialized care
10. The benefits of biotech
11. New research: Milk-drinking teens reap health benefits through adulthood
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016   Acuant ... and verification solutions, has partnered with RightCrowd ... solutions for Visitor Management, Self-Service Kiosks and ... products that add functional enhancements to existing ... corporations and venues with an automated ID ...
(Date:6/15/2016)... June 15, 2016 Transparency ... titled "Gesture Recognition Market by Application Market - Global Industry Analysis ... 2024". According to the report, the  global gesture recognition ... 2015 and is estimated to grow at a ... by 2024.  Increasing application of gesture ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... , June 2, 2016 The ... has awarded the 44 million US Dollar project, for ... Embossed Vehicle Plates including Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure ... leader in the production and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. ... January, however Decatur was selected for ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Parallel 6 , the leading software as a service ... Virtual Patient Encounter CONSULT module which enables both audio and video telemedicine communication ... , Using the CONSULT module, patients and physicians can schedule a face to face ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... for Amgen, will join the faculty of the University of North Carolina ... professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at UNC Kenan-Flagler, with a focus on the ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016   Ginkgo Bioworks , a ... engineering, was today awarded as one of the ... the world,s most innovative companies. Ginkgo Bioworks is ... the real world in the nutrition, health and ... directly with customers including Fortune 500 companies to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... SAN DIEGO , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... that more sensitively detects cancers susceptible to PARP ... individual circulating tumor cells (CTCs). The new test ... of HRD-targeted therapeutics in multiple cancer types. ... therapies targeting DNA damage response pathways, including PARP, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: