Safe and efficient circularity in a city’s urban metabolism needs to consider all waste streams as valuable materials, including nutrients. Urban wastewater contains 84% of nitrogen (N) and 77% of phosphorus (P) going through a city. Separation of blackwater from greywater allows for increased potential for nutrient recycling, pollution control, biogas production and reduced carbon footprint; it is extremely promising for increased nutrient circularity and increased sustainability in the urban wastewater and agricultural sectors. Blackwater contains most nutrients and is of special interest for separate collection for nutrient circularity.
The research project SURFER will contribute with new knowledge necessary for development of a blackwater treatment/recovery train for safe and efficient nutrient recovery for production of an integral Sustainable URban FERtilizer. The research objectives are to (i) retain nutrients in blackwater effluent from an Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket (UASB) reactor by nitrogen stabilization, (ii) remove pharmaceutical residues from blackwater UASB effluent, (iii) identify other important prerequisites for the production of a Sustainable URban FERtilizer, related to upcoming EU regulation. Bench-scale experiments for partial nitrification, pharmaceutical removal, heavy metal content, biofilm and bacteria analyses will be conducted on blackwater UASB effluent.