Phosphate recovery from waste water at Schiphol and fertilisation airport grounds

Phosphate recovery from waste water at Schiphol and fertilisation airport grounds

The Schiphol airport grounds will become lush grasslands thanks to the recycled, renewable fertiliser. On Wednesday 7 September, the phosphate that was recovered from Schiphol’s waste water in 2014/2015 (struvite) has been spread on these fields.

In 2014/2015, together with Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, KWR and Vewin, Evides Industriewater produced sustainable artificial fertiliser from Schiphol’s waste water. A demo system was installed at the Schiphol waste water purification installation, which is owned and managed by Evides Industriewater. The purpose of the system was to study whether it was possible to recover and reuse the phosphate from the waste water, in the form of struvite granules, in a sustainable way. During the test, a total of around 700 kilograms of struvite was recovered from the waste water.

The aviation and water industries are becoming more sustainable together
The initiative was the result of a mutual need. The aviation industry strives towards more sustainable business operations from a corporate social responsibility perspective. The water industry strives to make the water chain more sustainable and, in doing so, give innovative technology from the industry a chance. Both industries found each other in this so-called cradle-to-cradle concept (reusing waste flows).
Applying the produced struvite as fertiliser provides lush grasslands near the landing grounds, which prevents weeds from growing. This allows for sustainable management of the weeds and keeps birds at bay, which in turn contributes to aviation safety.

Plans for the future
In the coming years, the Schiphol waste water purification installation will be modified in order to meet stricter discharge requirements and to facilitate the airport’s growth. An important condition for struvite recovery is the introduction of organic phosphate removal at this waste water purification installation. These options will be further investigated. See also: sustainable airport cities

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Evides Industrial Water, inventive.