Aquacare BioPhree® – Capturing phosphate through absorption

As phosporus is both a limited resource and one of the main causes for eutrophication, getting phosphorus out of both wastewater and runoff streams is of vital importance. Aquacare's BioPhree® is one of the winners of the BONUS RETURN project, selected based on their ability to demonstrate a strong innovative technology for phosphorus reuse and recycling in the Baltic Sea Region. 

The technology is based on a series of absorption vessels, which can results to the effluent stream with less than 10 ppb P (0.01 mg/L). The absorption material (hybrid ion exchange resin impregnated with iron oxide) captures P until saturation is reached, which, depending on the system, can take several weeks to months. One of the main benefits of the system is that the absorption materials can be regenerated - phosphorus is desorbed into a cleaning solution, from where it can be extracted. The cleaning solution can also be reused with minimal losses; The whole system is based on circularity. Based on the process conditions, the absorption material is estimated to have a lifetime between 7 to 15 years or about 100 regeneration cycles. 

To ensure continuous operation during the regeneration, several BioPhree® units are recommended to be used in parallel.

Results and next steps

BioPhree® technology decreases phosphorus concentrations to less than 10 ppb even under high-phosphorus inflow. Long-term field tests demonstrated the BioPhree® technology efficiency.

The BioPhree® process has been tested in smaller scales, while large scale testing in Knivsta municipality in Sweden is currently planned to commence. The technology was tested during the George Barley Water Prize Pilot Stage competition in The Holland Marsh (Canada) agricultural drainage site, achieving consistently low TP concentrations during both low and high flow rates. The total TP removal rate was over 86% in runoff waters and levels lower than 30 ppb were achieved 79% of the measured samples.

Potential applications in the BSR


  • Surface water and agricultural runoff
  • Industrial use water and reservoirs
  • Wastewater upgrade and reuse

Since the BioPhree® solution was one of the winners of the BONUS RETURN project, it is considered to be an innovation with major potential in the Baltic Sea region. The process can be scaled-up with relatively low costs and can be used for large surface water bodies, agricultural runoff ditches, industrial wastewater or for additional wastewater treatment.

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