EasyMining has been granted a 19 MSEK investment from the European Union’s LIFE programme for commercializing its patented method for removing nitrogen from sewage water. The circular solution enables water treatment facilities to capture nitrogen and put it to use as a fertilizer, thereby reducing emissions of greenhouse gas.
– We are happy and honored to have the EU invest in our innovation, contributing to making nitrogen removal circular in Sweden and Europe. EasyMining’s technology puts to use the nitrogen compounds we have already produced, and helps to reduce marine eutrophication, says Anna Lundbom, who has headed the LIFE programme application process at the Ragn-Sells Group.
The technology has been developed and patented world-wide by Ragn-Sells’ innovation company EasyMining. Water with a high nitrogen content, for example in municipal sewage treatment facilities, is treated with an agent which crystallizes the nitrogen and causes it to precipitate. The nitrogen is then extracted from the crystals and may be used again in agriculture, where nitrogen is one of the key nutrients in commercial fertilizer. This offsets the need to produce virgin nitrogen compounds, thereby reducing the climate footprint of farming.
– When waste-water treatment plants use our method, they reduce their emissions of nitrogen compounds to nearby water, they reduce their climate footprint, and they save tax payer money. They do this by recovering nitrogen, a valuable nutrient, and making a real contribution towards a circular economy, says EasyMining CEO Jan Svärd.
Today’s nitrogen removal methods commonly release the nitrogen back into the air instead of recovering it. These methods typically use bacteria to separate nitrogen from the water, which also causes emissions of nitrous oxide (laughing gas), a powerful greenhouse gas which speeds up climate change 300 times more efficiently than carbon dioxide. The adsorption agent which crystallizes the nitrogen in the Ragn-Sells process is neither emitted nor consumed, but continually reused.
The project is a partnership between EasyMining, Denmark’s largest waste-water treatment company BIOFOS, Lantmännen, and Ragn-Sells’ Treatment & Detox business area. In the first phase of the project, the construction of pilot facilities is planned, and in three years, the patent will be ready for full commercialization. In addition to the use in waste-water treatment facilities, the method will also be used to treat runoff from landfills.
Through the LIFE programme, the European Union is allocating 3.4 billion euros to environmental and climate-related projects between 2014 and 2020.
Fact sheet: The process
EasyMining’s nitrogen removal process is chemical in nature, as opposed to the bacterial methods commonly used in waste-water treatment plants in Sweden and Europe today. Water with a high nitrogen content, such as the water produced from de-watering of sewage sludge, is treated with an adsorption agent, which causes the nitrogen to crystallize and precipitate. Next, the nitrogen is extracted from the crystals and may be used again, while the adsorption agent is circulated back into the process.
The method can be used on any water which contains ammonium. The EU-backed project encompasses use in waste-water treatment facilities as well as runoff from landfills. Additional possible use includes treatment of manure, and liquids from biogas production facilities.
For more information, please contact
Jan Svärd, CEO, EasyMining, +46 70 978 64 74, email@example.com
Ragn-Sells Media Services,+46 70 927 24 00, firstname.lastname@example.org
The board of Ragn-Sells had a very successful visit at EasyMining to view the new finalized pilot facility in Uppsala as well as discussing the upcoming Ash2Phos full-scale factory.