Weeefiner is developing a method to recover nutrients from biomass

In the photo, Luke’s researcher Jani Pulkkinen and Weeefiner’s CEO Mikko Hänninen at the recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) in Laukaa

Weeefiner has started a project that researches the recovery of nitrate, phosphate and potassium. The project focuses on the recovery of dissolved nutrients, for which very limited methods are currently in use.

With Weeefiner’s 4D Scavenger® technology, dissolved raw materials can be separated from complex liquid solutions. Up until now, we have mainly focused on the recovery of metals, but in the future we will focus more and more on the recovery of nutrients as well, as the need for recycled nutrients will grow.

The project focusing on the recovery of nutrients has received funding from the “Ravinteiden kierrätyksen kokeiluohjelma 2020–2022” from center for Economic Development, Trasport and the Environment in Southern Ostrobothnia. The goal is to develop a method that can be used to recover nutrients which would otherwise end up as waste. The aim is to use the recovered nutrients to produce raw materials for recycled fertilizers.

The tests carried out with Weeefiner’s 4D Scavenger® technology have given very promising results on the functionality of nutrient recovery.

“Dissolved nutrients that have previously caused challenges can be selectively recovered with the help of 4D Scavenger®,” explains Weeefiner’s chief of technology Elmeri Lahtinen.

The project will be piloted at Luke’s premises

During the one-and-a-half-year project, the focus is mainly on the recovery of the nutrients formed in the recirculating aquaculture system (RAS). During the project, we will also look at other sites where the recovery of dissolved nutrients has potential. Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) will be involved in the implementation of the project and the developed method will be piloted at Luke’s RAS facilities.

“Recirculating aquaculture system is an activity that requires an environmental permit. Hence, the management of nutrient emissions is an essential part of the farming operation. Typically, the phosphorus in the fish sludge is bound with chemicals and the nitrogen is evaporated into the air, making them no longer useful. Nutrient recovery makes it possible to make recycled nutrients from the side streams of fish farming,” says Luke’s researcher Jani Pulkkinen.

The project will start with laboratory testing, pictured Iida Kortelahti

The recovery solution prevents nutrients from ending up in the wrong places and produces new raw material for nutrients. The topic is significant, because according to preliminary calculations, it could be possible to recover more than 200,000 kilograms of nitrogen annually from Finland’s largest RAS facilities.

Project in media

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