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Kemira and Veolia investigating new phosphorus-recovery process for wastewater treatment

| By Mary Bailey

Kemira Oyj (Helsinki, Finland) and Veolia Wasser Deutschland announced their collaboration in the full-scale technology assessment of the new phosphorus recovery technology  called ViviMag. ViviMag is a patented technology to recover phosphorus and other valuable resources, such as iron, from sewage sludge. The technology has been developed by Wetsus, the European center of excellence for sustainable water technology, and Technical University Delft in cooperation with Kemira, several other private companies and municipal water companies.

Phosphorus in wastewater is a major environmental challenge and causes overfertilization of surface waters if not removed properly. At the same time, phosphorus is a key nutrient necessary for agricultural purposes and many different industrial applications. In 2020, the European Commission again confirmed phosphorus as one of the critical raw materials on the EU Critical Raw Materials List. A local recovery from urban wastewaters will support Europe’s ambitions for more raw material independence.

Kemira Oyj and Veolia Wasser Deutschland will conduct the first ViviMag industrial pilot trial at the wastewater treatment plant of Schönebeck, Germany, during the second half of 2022.

“This collaboration is a major step in realizing our strategy to deliver high-quality, sustainable and circular solutions for removing and recovering phosphorus to our customers,” said Jean-Christophe Ades, Senior Marketing Manager, Municipal market for Kemira Industry & Water EMEA.

“We are continuously working to optimize the efficiency of processes implemented in the municipal and industrial treatment plants”, said Laurent Hequet, Managing Director of Veolia Wasser Deutschland GmbH. “That’s why we develop and offer wastewater treatment plant operators economic and ecologically efficient solutions which, thanks to their replication potential, enable operational and pragmatic implementation of the legally required phosphorus recovery directly at the wastewater treatment plants. The same time we improve the overall CO2 balance of wastewater treatment and sewage sludge utilization.”

For both companies, this new technology represents an important complement to their sustainable water treatment offering.