Thursday, June 3, 2010

Nutrient Recovery Facility

Thomas Henry Culhane Bob Plotkin 

Thanks to Bob Plotkin for passing this along; Bob I just shared this with Dr. Martin Denecke, the waste recovery expert at University of Essen that we are collaborating with who has been urging Germany to source separate urine and feces and reclaim phosphorous from so-called 'gelbwasser" und "schwarzwasser" at a market rate of $700/ton. Sounds like America is getting involved in these favorable economics too! Great!

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» News » News Releases » 2010 » Media Alert: Unveiling of New Nutrient Recovery Facility That Will Protect Chesapeake Bay, with Keynote Speaker Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
May 26 at 1:40pm · · · Share
Bob Plotkin
Bob Plotkin
There are several aspects to their product which I find particularly intriguing. Besides the obvious fact that they are pulling valuable minerals out of waste, the method they use creates a crystalized pellet. These pellets act as a slow release fertilizer "naturally" - this means that fertilization can be more controlled and done less frequently. Their product is supposedly better than a mined product because of this crystilization process!
The fundamental difference, and TH - I think you will appreciate this is - that the time release fertilizer you purchase is processed with a polymer coating so as to slow down the dissolution process. The Ostera system slow grows crystals of phosphorus such that they will naturally dissolve slowly. The mined product is basically powder that is ... See Morepressed into pellets and coated. Without a coating, it would simply dissolve immediately. The crystals, at least this is what the theory and tests show is, dissolve much slower naturally.

Integrating these systems into municipal waste plants is challenging but feasible. I have visited several waste treatment plants trying to understand how they can use this and other "symbiotic" technologies.
Bob Plotkin
I am not certain of the exact composition of the Ostera product, but you probably cannot compare it to a manufactured product you would buy in the store. Your "multivitamin" product is likely assembled from various raw pulverized materials to meet specific ratios. I would assume that the Ostera product would become PART of a total solution where ... the specific ratios of a total fertilization would include a percentage of their pellets along side other componenets. I do not know the specifics however - may be some info on their website if you are interested.
 According to the Ostara website, the product, called Crystal Greene, is a combination of nitrogen, phosphorous and magnesium rather than sulfur. So it is comparable but not identical. We use sulfur out here to make our alkaline soils more neutral.


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