Today, the world is suffering from unprecedented levels of water pollution. Run off from farms and other waste is wreaking havoc on our lakes, rivers, oceans, and ponds to the point of creating completely dead zones, and every we summer we see it get worse. This is our motivation at NRU; through nutrient upcycling and sustainable nutrient management, we promote the long-term benefit of communities and the environment.
You may be wondering- what is nutrient upcycling and why is it important? Well, let’s break it down:
For us, it all started with phosphorus. Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for all life (yours, too!), and is especially essential in agriculture. However, when phosphorus finds its way to the wrong place or the levels are too concentrated, it can cause serious harm. For example, when agricultural or city run-off enters into a lake, the phosphorus causes excess plant growth in the water (because plants need it to thrive!). This excess growth can create toxic algae blooms, which not only makes the lake dangerous for swimming, but also chokes all the oxygen out of the water, causing the fish population to die off. This overload of dead fish then increases the bacterial growth in the water, which can turn the whole lake into a dead zone.
Now that we’ve covered the risks, let’s move on to the upcycling process...
At NRU, we use our CalPrex® technology to recovery up to 50% of the total phosphorus entering the sludge process at a water resource recovery facility. We then reuse the extracted phosphorus to create a calcium phosphate mineral that is very valuable to agriculture. By following this process, we not only prevent the oversaturation of phosphorus in our water, but we also create a sustainable fertilizer to keep plants happy and healthy. So, by upcycling phosphorus, not only are we preventing environmental harm, but we’re also creating a high quality, recovered product for plant owners.
Now, let’s talk about the fertilizer.
As mentioned , we create our SteadyState fertilizer from upcycled phosphorus, making it much more sustainable than those incorporating mined and imported phosphorus. SteadyState fertilizer is also a naturally slow-release formula. This means that our phosphorus mineral is less soluble than other formulas and has a lesser chance of being lost to surface water runoff. In addition to the eco-friendly perks of SteadyState, our fertilizer also provides better nutrients for your plants. We use a proprietary formula with micronutrients needed by plants. Many commercial fertilizers do not offer these extra nutrients because they don’t want to spend the time and money to add them to their formulas. But, your plants will notice our attention to their nutrient needs and our slow-release formulas, but they won’t recognize the difference between mined phosphorus and upcycled phosphorus. The difference in phosphorus is for our customers; we can all embrace environmentally-healthier practices by making the conscious decision to choose nutrients that come from sustainable sources.
At NRU, sustainability is our focus.
We are driven by the environmental disasters affecting our world. By recovering phosphorus from wastewater and creating a sustainable brand of fertilizer, we are working to improve the environment and protect it for generations to come, and for us phosphorus is just the beginning of a vision for nutrient upcycling of nitrogen and potassium as well.