The project will be delivered via a number of specific work packages:
Work Package One: This work package will be led by QUB and will carry out a comprehensive review of current state-of-the art for P removal and recovery from wastewater. It will form an inventory of current P-recovery and recycling technologies. Evaluate which are the best available technologies for P recovery from wastewater and their feasibility in Ireland. Determine the sinks and sources of P in Ireland.
Work Package Two: This work package will be led by NUI Galway and will seek to demonstrate a simple, unique and novel treatment method for P attenuation during Anaerobic Digestion (AD) wastewater treatment. It will also optimise unit design for treatment efficiency of both municipal and industrial wastewaters.
Work Package Three: This work package will be led by QUB and will seek to demonstrate two novel approaches for P removal and recovery developed by the QUB team. The first of these is a biological process which induces environmental microorganisms to accumulate phosphate intracellularly as the biopolymer polyphosphate. The second approach uses a new P binding polymer – developed at Queen’s – which has been synthesised from a natural material. This polymer currently removes in excess of 100mg of P per gram of polymer: the bound P can be released and the polymer reused.
Work Package Four: The final work package, led by NUI Galway, will demonstrate 2-3 commercially available P recovery processes for use in Irish wastewater treatment and assess the effectiveness of these technologies for recovering P from microbial biomass. Those technologies developed by QUB and NUI-Galway will also be trialled.