WATERAGRI partner Eden Tech developed a microfluidic system designed to recover nutrients from agricultural runoff on-site. These nutrient recovery systems utilize microfluidic networks etched onto compact, CD-sized disks to capture nutrients from wastewater.
In the context of the WATERAGRI project, our solution has been developed based on the technical recommendations from analysis of agricultural runoff water samples obtained from Italy, Hungary, and Poland. We have successfully validated this system in laboratory-scale experiments, demonstrating its ability to recover adsorbent microbeads capable of capturing nutrients. For practical application, this treatment solution can be connected to drainpipe outlets following initial treatment processes and requires electricity to power pumps for water circulation throughout the system.
Our nutrient recovery system offers economic advantages for farmers, utility firms, and various stakeholders. The nutrients reclaimed through this system can be sold in the market, or farmers can utilize them as environmentally-friendly fertilizer, derived from resources that would otherwise be discarded. If implemented on a larger scale, this could substantially reduce the agricultural industry’s carbon footprint and the release of excess nutrients into rivers, all while generating an additional revenue source for wastewater treatment facilities.