NC wastewater treatment plant concludes full-scale phosphorus reduction, recovery process

Renewable Nutrients has conducted successful piloting operations of its Quick Wash phosphorus extraction and recovery process at the Orange Water & Sewer Authority wastewater treatment facility in the city of Chapel Hill, N.C.

PINEHURST, NC, Aug. 5, 2015 -- Renewable Nutrients (RN) LLC, a firm focused on nutrient extraction, recovery and reuse, has conducted successful piloting operations of its Quick Wash™ phosphorus extraction and recovery process at the Orange Water & Sewer Authority (OWASA) wastewater treatment facility in the city of Chapel Hill, N.C.

Quick Wash is surfacing as a practical methodology for reducing phosphorus loads in wastewater treatment plant sludge and effluent, and ultimately for recovering the phosphorus for resale or reuse. The pilot program, launched as a means of both proving and commercializing the technology, has experienced success at treatment plants throughout the mid-Atlantic, including Ephrata, Pa., Westminster, Md., and Greenville and Raleigh, N.C., in addition to Chapel Hill.

"The OWASA operations team expressed an interest in studying the efficiency of the Quick Wash process to reduce phosphorus loads in the filtrate coming off of the plant's rotary press," said Larry Sandeen, RN technology director. "Our goal was to demonstrate that we could capture and recover nearly all of the phosphorus in the plant's side stream and eliminate the cyclical nature of sending phosphorus-laden filtrate back to the head of the plant."

Mike Schmid, RN chief marketing officer, added, "OWASA represented a unique opportunity for us to test Quick Wash at a plant with anaerobic digestion. The phosphorus concentration in anaerobic digester sludge is pretty high, and the digesting process itself serves to release a lot of the phosphorus that has been chemically bound to the solids further upstream in the process flow. So it was important for us to validate our process and technology at a facility like OWASA and establish that Quick Wash can not only recover most of the phosphorus in the filtrate from the dewatering of anaerobically digested materials, but provide a solution to eliminate the practice of recirculating the phosphorus-laden side stream back to the head works."

Jeff Dawson, Renewable Nutrients' president and CEO, added, "At each of the plants where we piloted Quick Wash, we demonstrated to management that the process is equally effective at extracting and recovering high percentages of phosphorus -- in excess of 90 percent -- from either the solid stream or the side stream of the plant's process flow. Ultimately, Quick Wash eliminates the need to introduce costly metals to a facility's influent for the purpose of binding and transferring phosphorus to its biosolids output. At the same time, Quick Wash yields a biosolids product that is low in phosphorus or potentially contains no phosphorus, allowing for land application in many regions of the country."

About Renewable Nutrients, LLC

Renewable Nutrients is a private, North Carolina-based company that turns waste into sustainable and profitable resources. Through its exclusive license of the patented Quick Wash process, the company allows waste treatment plants and farms to extract and recover phosphorus from human biosolids and manure solids. The remaining biosolids or manure solids, which contain crop-friendly ratios of nitrogen-to-phosphorus, can be land-applied, thus lessening the amount of waste trucked to disposal sites, and reducing or even eliminating the incidence of nutrient pollution from soil runoff. In addition, municipalities and farms can sell the recovered phosphorus on the open market, and engage in the trading or marketing of nutrient credits. For more information, visit


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