Sustainable phosphorus removal with BOF steel slag and apatite: mechanisms and challenges

Naira Fonseca – Thames Water


This study has tested different fractions of Basic Oxygen Furnace steel slag and apatite media in full-scale constructed wetlands for 27 months, as a sustainable alternative to chemical dosing for phosphorus (P) removal. This is the first trial and the longest of its kind in the United Kingdom evaluating the P removal capacity of both these media. The results show that both materials can efficiently and consistently remove P to a level of 0.5 mg/L or above after 27 months of operation. The removal mechanisms for both media will be presented, as well as expected media lifetime to achieve different P consents. Challenges faced both during commissioning and during normal operation will be discussed, as well as ways in which these can be reduced.

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