European centre of excellence
for sustainable water technology

Official start pilot phase Barley Prize

Published: 23 februari 2018

This week, the third phase of the competition for the George Barley Water Prize officially started.
After winning the first two stages, Wetsus now enters the pilot stage, competing with 9 other teams of scientists.

A Wetsus team had submitted a solution to recover phosphorus from surface water in the Everglades (Florida, USA), as part of the George Barley prize contest. The George Barley prize ( is organized by the Everglades Foundation in their search to find cost-effective solutions to remove and recover phosphorus from surface water. There is a high demand in Florida for such a technology, as it would make it possible to restore the natural water flow through the Everglades and prevent toxic algae blooms at the coasts of Florida.

Challenging demands have been set for the new technology. It should remove phosphorus to ultra low concentrations (10 ppb) with a very minimal footprint and at cost of less than 120$/kg P. Wetsus proposed their NaFRAd-solution which is a combination of flocculation with natural flocculants and reversible adsorption with high capacity iron based adsorbents. In this way both particulate and soluble phosphorus can be removed with minimal waste formation. The phosphorus can be recovered as phosphate rock that can be used in the local fertilizer industry. These technologies find their origin in the Wetsus research themes Phosphate Recovery and Natural Flocculants.

The pilot stage is held in Ontario, at Ontario's Lake Simcoe Watershed in the Holland Marsh area.

press release

For Wetsus, Prashanth Kumar and Miriam Kuiper are in Canada to run the pilot.

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