Upscaling and prototype development of phosphorus filters for agricultural drainage water

In North-West Europe agricultural diffuse phosphorus (P) loss is a major cause of eutrophication problems in surface water. Given that the Water Framework Directive demands fast water quality improvements and most of the actual P mitigation strategies tend to work on the long run, new short-term mitigation measures are urgently needed. Our previous research has shown that small-scale field filters to remove dissolved reactive P at the end of tile drains have a great potential to improve the water quality on the short term (see demonstration of the filter in this  video). It was part of NuReDrain project, an Interreg North Sea Region program, focusing on nutrient removal and recovery from agricultural discharge and drainage water. The current project will upscale the filter system to treat larger water flow from collector drains. This will result in a set of unique P filter systems, which can be adapted to the different artificial drainage systems in north-west Europe. We will also seek for other applications for the filter and liaise with industry for further commercialization. This project is supported by UGent Industrial Research Fund (IOF).