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CentrEau Hebd'EAU |Development of a process (Techno-P) for the passive capture of phosphorus contained in wastewater using wood by-products activated with iron hydroxide

82nd webinar in the CentrEau Hebd'Eau series entitled “Development of a process (Techno-P) for the passive capture of phosphorus contained in wastewater using wood by-products activated with iron hydroxide” by Soureyatou Hamidou


Soureyatou Hamidou is a doctoral student in water engineering at Université Laval, currently focusing on phosphorus removal from wastewater by biofiltration in collaboration with Investissement Québec-CRIQ. Originally from Cameroon, Soureyatou was awarded a scholarship of excellence from the government of Morocco, which enabled her to obtain an engineering degree in rural engineering with a specialization in infrastructure, drinking water and sanitation at the Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II in 2014. She was then awarded a Mitacs-Accélération research grant and a scholarship of excellence for international students from Université Laval to do a Master's degree in research in Canada. Within this framework, she joined Université Laval and successfully completed a master's degree in water engineering in 2018.


The Quebec government is tightening requirements for phosphorus discharges into the environment. Conventional phosphorus removal processes are high-maintenance and costly. To date, there are only two passive phosphorus removal technologies certified in Quebec by the Bureau de normalisation du Québec (BNQ). It is therefore necessary to target a robust, low-cost phosphorus removal process based on natural materials. Recent research at Investisement Québec-Centre de recherche industrielle du Québec (CRIQ) has focused on the development of a passive phosphorus capture process (Techno-P) characterized by biofilters based on activated wood impregnated with iron hydroxide. These studies showed that anaerobic columns were capable of maintaining the phosphorus concentration in the effluent below 0.3 mg P/L through adsorption and precipitation by reductive dissolution. The aim of the study was to develop a technology (Techno-P) for removing phosphorus from wastewater in a biofiltration context, using a wood-based filter medium impregnated with iron hydroxide. Three wood by-products were harvested from a sawmill in Quebec. A specific activation method was applied to obtain activated wood-based media. Two types of impregnation (surface impregnation at atmospheric pressure and deep impregnation under vacuum pressure) were applied to activate the 3 wood species at different ferric chloride (FeCl3) concentrations, contact times and liquid/grinding ratios. The results indicate that the maximum phosphorus adsorption capacity differs according to the wood species tested, and that a high phosphorus adsorption capacity is achieved with a higher FeCl3 dose and liquid/grind ratio. Vacuum-pressure impregnation was also more effective at retaining phosphorus than surface impregnation.


The presentation will be given in French

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