Recovering valuable substances from wastewater
The German Phosphorus Platform has developed a method to trap phosphorus from waters with magnets. The world over, farmers and industrial enterprises use so much of this element that soil is over-fertilized and waterways are contaminated. Adding superparamagnetic particles to the water in slags, sludges, or landfill, they were able to 'fish' phosphate anions out of the water. An added advantage of this method is that the removed particles containing phosphorus also carry the toxic heavy metals often bonded to the element when found in the environment. Not just farmers and agribusiness, but also the building material and detergents industries as well as semiconductor and lighting manufacturers are heavily reliant on phosphorus, a non-renewable resource with limited global reserves.
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