Technology Spotlight



What is your technology? 
Ostara's WASSTRIP® technology turbocharges nutrient removal and recovery, enhancing Ostara's Pearl® nutrient recovery process. The WASSTRIP process releases phosphorus and magnesium upstream of the anaerobic digester and sends it directly to the Pearl reactor for recovery, increasing the overall volume of phosphorus and ammonia recovered, and providing critical benefits to plant operations. Click here to see a video of the Ostara process.

What are the benefits to implementing your technology?
WASSTRIP protects anaerobic digesters from struvite formation and accumulation, a problem that costs WRRFs hundreds of thousands of dollars every year in chemicals to treat. Struvite is a cement-like substance created from concentrated nutrients that either accumulates as “grit” and impairs digester capacity or scales up on equipment causing severe operational issues. By sending phosphorus and magnesium around the digester and directly to the Pearl process, where it’s converted to fertilizer, WASSTRIP all but eradicates digester struvite. Removal of struvite from the digester biosolids matrix also allows WASSTRIP to reduce biosolids production and lowers the phosphorus-to-nitrogen ratio to create more nutrient-balanced biosolids that are more suitable for land application. In addition, by shunting magnesium, WASSTRIP balances the monovalent-to-divalent cation ratio in digested sludge, improving dewaterability, and producing drier biosolids. These benefits lead to significantly lower overall dry mass, which cuts down considerably on handling and disposal costs.

  • Reduced overall biosolids production by up to 25%.
  • Improved dewaterability – increased cake solids by up to 20%.
  • Reduced total phosphorus in remaining biosolids by nearly 10%.
  • Reduced water-soluble phosphorus in biosolids by up to 70%.
  • Decreased dependence on costly coagulants and flocculants.
  • Reduced struvite formation in digesters by up to 90%.

Has the technology been tested, demonstrated, or implemented to date?
Yes, WASSTRIP is in operation at Ostara nutrient recovery facilities in Tigard, OR; Saskatoon, SK; Madison, WI; and in Buford, GA. Additional facilities are under construction in Hillsboro, OR; Chicago, IL; Winchester, VA; Amersfoort, Holland; and Madrid, Spain.

What are the next steps needed to advance your technology? 
Further development is underway to optimize the rate and extent of phosphorus release and recovery achievable and to better understand the fundamental mechanisms leading to the observed improvements in dewatering and reduction in biosolids production. Additional host sites interested in evaluating and/or bench testing the technology to their particular circumstances would help improve the understanding of the conditions required for successful and reliable implementation of the technology, as well as opportunities for further process optimization and enhancement. 

How has LIFT helped, or how can LIFT help?
LIFT has provided an excellent venue for Ostara to present its technologies to groups of interested and innovation-minded practitioners and owners in the industry. This forum has helped immensely to increase awareness and understanding of the WASSTRIP technology, as well as to bring together groups of interested parties to share in the costs of developing or verifying aspects of the technology. Ongoing involvement in LIFT to bring these groups of innovators together to do the testing and development work, as well as a forum to disseminate the results of these studies will help Ostara find optimal client sites, and accelerate the development and adoption of the technology. Together, we can accelerate the realization of the water resource recovery facility that so many of us aim to achieve through our work.