Cheese producer switches to ClariPhos™ coagulant to improve phosphorus removal, eliminate tertiary filtration

DATE POSTED: December 16, 2021


ClariPhos improves MBR performance for cheese producer

Phosphorus removal has never been better for an Ontario cheese producer after switching to ClariPhos™ Rare Earth Coagulant for its onsite membrane bioreactor system. Operators began using ClariPhos in 2019 after experiencing inconsistent results with aluminum sulphate (alum) to achieve a phosphorus limit of less than 1 mg/L.

When the plant was commissioned several years ago, alum was initially added directly to the MBR to precipitate phosphorus in the process tank; however, this resulted in excess foaming, significant swings in pH and frequent upsets to the biological process. A tertiary filtration system was installed at a cost well into six figures, and though the system did alleviate the issues and consistently achieve the target phosphorus limit most of the time, it also significantly increased operating and maintenance costs. The operations team continued searching for a simple, cost-effective solution.

Fast and easy switch to ClariPhos

Bench testing with ClariPhos showed promising results and in the spring of 2019 the plant began full-scale testing. The transition was simple since ClariPhos uses the same chemical feed equipment as alum. Operators simply replaced the tote, flushed the line and set the new, much lower dose rate for ClariPhos. Since one of the objectives was to eliminate the tertiary filtration system, the team decided to add ClariPhos directly to the bioreactor, despite the problems that were experienced with the alum.

Within a few days, the benefits of ClariPhos began to emerge for the operators:

  • Foaming and pH swings were no longer occurring. ClariPhos is about 100 times less acidic than aluminum sulphate, which combined with the lower dose, enables overall system pH to remain close to neutral and avoid process upset.
  • Caustic (NaOH) was no longer needed to balance the acidity of alum, saving the plant thousands of dollars and eliminating the need to store and handle this hazardous chemical.
  • Consistent treatment performance and compliance with the phosphorus limit of < 1 mg/L.
  • Tertiary filtration is no longer needed, eliminating costs of operation and of handling of the secondary sludge wasting process.
  • Reduced coagulant consumption. The ClariPhos dose at the site is consistently four to six times lower than aluminum sulphate.
  • Improved operator safety. ClariPhos is about 100 times less acidic than alternatives, performs at a lower dose rate and often requires no pH adjustment. This means operators can dramatically reduce the volume of chemicals that are stored and handled at a plant.
Watch our video to see faster settling rate and lower sludge production for ClariPhos vs. conventional aluminum- and iron-based alternatives.

Learn more about the advantages of ClariPhos Rare Earth Coagulant for phosphorus removal.

Contact us to talk about switching your phosphorus removal process to ClariPhos.

Slash sludge disposal costs with ClariPhos™

DATE POSTED: September 22, 2021


ClariPhos™ rare earth coagulant reduces sludge by as much as 50%

Is sludge disposal hauling away too much of your operating budget?

A 2016 report* prepared for the Vermont legislature, relying on national level EPA cost analysis, “estimated that approximately 40% of a wastewater treatment plant’s total annual operating cost is spent on solids management.” That report also predicted a future increase in solids production due to the increased need to reduce the nitrogen and phosphorus contribution from sewage into the surface water basins. This is particularly true for phosphorus (P).


Why do lower phosphorus limits increase sludge?

Unlike nitrogen, which can be effectively removed biologically, phosphorus removal is typically achieved with chemical precipitation. Traditionally, this has been done using iron- or aluminum-based coagulants. But these coagulants can produce significant amounts of sludge especially when phosphorus limits in effluent are extremely low. In some cases, phosphorus precipitation with alum or ferric coagulants can produce 12 to 16 mg/L of sludge for every mg of P removed.

They operate on an adsorption mechanism, typically requiring between a 2.5-to-1 molar ratio and a 4-to-1 molar ratio of iron or aluminum to P. They also create a fluffy floc with high amounts of bound water that is difficult to separate through settling and dewatering processes. The phosphorus, a solids-dispersing agent, suspends these solids, making them more difficult to settle. The result is a sludge that remains high in water content and much more costly to transport and dispose of.

Rare earth elements (REEs) can reduce sludge by as much as 50% compared with iron or aluminum

Cerium, a rare earth element, reacts at a 1-to-1 molar ratio with P to form the mineral rhabdophane. This precipitate has a specific gravity of 4, compared with the specific gravity of iron or aluminum precipitates of between 2.4 to 3.4. Higher density solids settle better, binding less water in the process. To gain a thorough knowledge of how this works, see our white paper.

ClariPhos forms a strong, stable bond with phosphorus at a molar ration of 1:1. Fe or Al coagulants typically require at least a 5:2 molar ratio, but can go as high as 8:1 when greater P reduction is needed. 

Bottom line – ClariPhos helps achieve significant sludge reduction and cost savings

One 770,000 GPD facility discharging to a tributary to Lake Erie switched to REE precipitation primarily to meet a stringent aluminum limit by removing aluminum-based coagulants. The change provided immediate compliance with the aluminum limit, but the benefits didn’t stop there. Prior to switching to REE precipitation, the plant operated a belt filter press 8 hrs/day, 5 days/week, with an average solid content of 15%. That required hauling 75, 20-yard sludge containers to a landfill annually. 

After switching to REEs, the belt filter press run time was reduced to one 8-hr shift per week, at a solids content of 21%. The number of 20-yard sludge containers landfilled annually dropped from 75 to 31, resulting in a savings of $70,000 per year in sludge hauling costs alone.

Savings achieved after switching from alum to ClariPhos coagulant 


AlRE
Belt filter press operation40 hrs/wk8 hrs/wk
% solids1521
20-yard sludge containers landfilled/yr7531
Sludge hauling cost savings/yr$70,000


Are you ready to slash your sludge disposal costs? 


Contact us to learn more about how ClariPhos reduces sludge and let the slashing begin.

Learn more about the advantages of ClariPhos rare earth coagulant for achieving ultra-low phosphorus limits and reducing sludge production at your treatment plant. 

* A Report to the Legislature on Wastewater Treatment Sludge and Septic Management in Vermont, July 16, 2016, Agency of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Conservation.

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ClariPhos™: A less acidic coagulant that improves phosphorus removal and operator safety

DATE POSTED: May 25, 2021


Aluminum and iron-based coagulants are acidic, which means the more you add for phosphorus reduction, the more likely you are to lower the pH of the wastewater system. Consequently, wastewater plants must have pH adjustment measures in place to protect microbial populations from unfavourable conditions and to ensure the pH of treated effluent complies with discharge regulations. For operators, it means handling dangerous chemicals, more rigorous testing and monitoring, and unfortunately, increased exposure to safety risks when completing those tasks. 

ClariPhos™ Rare Earth Coagulant can dramatically reduce or even eliminate pH swings caused by chemical phosphorus precipitation and help improve operator safety at the same time. This unique, non-hazardous coagulant is up to 100x less acidic than Al- or Fe-based alternatives and can achieve better phosphorus removal with a far lower dose—anywhere from 30 to 70% lower dose, depending on the P removal requirement.  

By simply switching coagulants, operators can gain several health and safety benefits:

  • Lower ClariPhos dose rate enables operators to dramatically lower the volume of coagulant that is stored and handled in the plant.
  • Reduced impact on pH allows operators to decrease or eliminate the use, handling and storage of dangerous pH adjustment chemicals.
  • Non-hazardous, non-toxic rating reduces PPE requirements and the potential for operator injury. 
  • Low ClariPhos freeze temperature (-40°C) permits outdoor storage in totes or bulk tanks
  • Inhibits struvite buildup on pumps and staining of equipment, decreasing maintenance requirements and the associated risks of injury or exposure to pathogens 

ClariPhos also provides significant improvements in phosphorus removal and sludge management. Treatment plants using ClariPhos can: 

  • Achieve P level as low as 0.07 mg/L or better without the need for tertiary filtration 
  • Reduce sludge production by 30 to 50%
  • Improve sludge dewaterability by 40% 

Switching to ClariPhos is easy. In most cases, the existing dosing equipment can be used for ClariPhos. So far, we’ve only encountered one issue—occasionally a smaller pump must be installed to ensure precise control of the low ClariPhos dose rate! 

Learn more about the operational advantages of ClariPhos Rare Earth Coagulant 

Contact us and we’ll show you how much less coagulant and pH adjustment chemical you’ll use by switching to ClariPhos.

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Ohio EPA selects ClariPhos; for evaluation in algal bloom reduction program

DATE POSTED: April 29, 2021


The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has selected ClariPhos™ rare earth coagulant for evaluation by its H2Ohio Technology Assessment Program (TAP), a state initiative to address harmful algal blooms (HABs) in Lake Erie. A team of industry experts will evaluate ClariPhos for its potential to become an important part of H2Ohio’s water quality toolbox and help improve phosphorus removal at wastewater treatment plants, reduce nutrient loading to water bodies and lessen the intensity or toxicity of algal blooms.

In recent years Lake Erie has experienced more frequent and severe HABs, which threaten the health of people and wildlife as well as local economies. H2Ohio is Governor Mike DeWine’s comprehensive plan aiming to implement holistic, long-lasting solutions that include reductions to phosphorus discharge into Lake Erie and improvements to wastewater infrastructure.  

A fast, simple upgrade that saves millions in capital costs. 

ClariPhos offers a simple and cost-effective way for wastewater treatment plants to significantly improve phosphorus removal without the need to add costly, energy-intensive filtration equipment. The technology dramatically outperforms conventional aluminum- or iron-based coagulants to achieve an ultra-low phosphorus level of 0.07 mg/L or lower. 

ClariPhos can do this because it is made with the rare earth elements cerium and lanthanum. These elements bond more tightly to phosphorus and form a denser, heavier precipitate that settles about two times faster than conventional alternatives. This enables clarifiers to operate more efficiently, reduces carry-over and also lowers sludge volumes. 

In most cases, plant operators can simply replace conventional coagulants with ClariPhos to easily and cost-effectively improve the chemical precipitation and settling of phosphorus. ClariPhos requires no special chemical feed equipment and will often work with existing feed pumps. This simple switch can not only enable a plant to achieve regulatory compliance for phosphorus discharge, but it can also help communities to avoid spending millions for costly filtration equipment and ongoing operating costs.

Dozens of treatment plants are already using ClariPhos rare earth coagulant to meet stringent phosphorus targets and lower operating costs from reduced sludge production improved sludge dewatering and decreased sludge hauling and disposal costs.

Case Study:

In one example, a 3.4 MGD municipal wastewater treatment plant in Wisconsin tested rare earth coagulant for its ability to meet a new final water quality effluent limit on phosphorus of 0.075 mg/L. The trial showed that the coagulant alone could consistently reduce phosphorus in the treated effluent to 0.036 mg/L. This result was far superior to what the plant was able to achieve with its conventional coagulant, ferrous chloride, which could only reduce phosphorus to an average of 0.5 mg/L. The switch to rare earth coagulant also eliminated the need to install new nutrient removal equipment—saving an estimated $2.8 million in capital costs—and reduced sludge production by about 35%. 

Learn more about the advantages of ClariPhos rare earth coagulant for phosphorus removal. 

Read more about H2Ohio TAP. 

Contact us to discuss ClariPhos for your wastewater treatment plant. 

Find out how much you can save by switching to ClariPhos; for phosphorus removal.

DATE POSTED: March 29, 2021


How do you decide which coagulant provides the best value for phosphorus removal at your wastewater treatment plant? For most, it might be a simple comparison of bulk costs for alum- or ferric-based coagulants from supplier A vs. supplier B.

But ClariPhos™, a new rare-earth coagulant, changes the game—offering significant performance advantages over conventional coagulants and new opportunities for savings that go beyond simple price comparisons.  

Less sludge = more savings

ClariPhos rare earth elements have a high affinity for phosphorus and bond at a 1:1 molar ratio, unlike Fe or Al coagulants that bond at a ratio of 5:2 or more. As a result, ClariPhos is dosed at rates that are 30 to 70% lower than alternatives and produces a corresponding reduction in sludge volume. 

Treatment plants that are using rare earth coagulant report sludge reductions of up to 50%. They also experience significant improvements in sludge dewaterability—with solids concentration in dewatered materials increasing by as much as 40%. With these benefits, treatment plants that use ClariPhos can potentially reduce sludge management costs by tens of thousands of dollars per year.

A comparison of sludge produced to remove an equivalent amount of phosphorus. 

Here’s proof. A 0.77 MGD treatment plant in the United States is saving over $70,000 per year in sludge management after switching to rare earth coagulant. Operators were able to reduce belt press operation by 80% and experienced a 40% improvement in sludge dewatering. With a smaller volume of drier sludge to handle, the plant also benefits from a 59% reduction in the amount of sludge that is transported to landfill.

ClariPhos reduces pH adjustment costs too

ClariPhos also contributes to lower costs for pH adjustment chemicals. That’s because it is about 100 times less acidic than alum and is far less likely to impact the pH of the treatment process. Some treatment plants have been able to eliminate pH adjustment entirely after switching to a rare earth coagulant, providing additional savings in chemical costs.

We’ll do the math and show you the savings

In just a few minutes, we can calculate how ClariPhos can reduce your chemical and sludge management costs. We’ll compare your current phosphorus removal program and sludge management costs and provide an estimate of ClariPhos performance and savings.

From there, it’s easy to switch. ClariPhos requires no special chemical feed equipment and will often work with the existing pumps. Our team will work with your operators to select the best dose location and rate and optimize the treatment process to deliver the best results through steady conditions as well as variable flows and loads.

Learn more about ClariPhos rare earth coagulant.

Contact us to find out how much you can save by switching to ClariPhos.

Are you ready for a better coagulant for phosphorus removal?

DATE POSTED: December 22, 2020


3 simple steps to test rare-earth coagulant at your plant

New ClariPhos™ rare-earth coagulant is a proven solution to hit phosphorus levels as low as 0.07 mg/L in treated effluent and reduce sludge production by as much as 50% in the process.

Over 50 treatment plants in the US are already using it to comply with tough phosphorus discharge regulations, avoid the need to add tertiary filtration and reduce operating costs. 

Testing ClariPhos performance for your plant can be done easily, just by switching your current liquid ferric or alum coagulant to our rare-earth coagulant. 

The results will be visible almost immediately since ClariPhos binds more tightly to phosphorus. This produces a denser, heavier precipitate that settles about two times faster what you’re currently using. Your clarifier will perform better, you’ll achieve higher phosphorus reduction and produce significantly less sludge as an added benefit. 

Here’s how we’d do it:

1) Jar testing

Simple jar tests with ClariPhos and a small sample of wastewater can quickly demonstrate the effectiveness and anticipated performance of the coagulant at your plant. The results are also used to calculate the dose rate and verify that your current equipment is up to the task. We find that the dosage rates can be significantly lower for ClariPhos as compared to conventional coagulants, so a smaller, more precise feed pump may be needed. If your treatment plant does not currently have a phosphorus removal step, we can also help design and install the process and equipment. 

2) Plant assessment

A quick look at the plant’s treatment processes, configuration and performance will enable our wastewater specialist to verify process equipment and select the best feed point for ClariPhos to ensure optimum mixing and retention time. 

3) Installation

Replace your existing coagulant with ClariPhos and let the test begin. The duration depends on your plant and the conditions it faces. We recommend that the test go long enough to experience typical variations in flow and loading to collect a good data set. 

Download the ClariPhos brochure.

Learn more about ClariPhos rare-earth coagulant for phosphorus reduction and the operational benefits it can bring to your plant.

Contact us to discuss a ClariPhos test at your treatment plant.

Achieve phosphorus limits as low as 0.07 mg/L with ClariPhos rare earth coagulant

DATE POSTED: October 6, 2020


ClariPhos produces up to 50% less sludge than conventional alternatives

Hitting an ultra-low phosphorus limit for treated wastewater effluent can be difficult using ferric- or aluminum-based coagulants alone. Often, large amounts of these conventional coagulants must be used, yet treatment plants may still be unable to meet low phosphorus targets without the addition of costly tertiary filtration equipment.

But ClariPhos rare earth coagulant is enabling treatment plants to achieve phosphorus levels as low as 0.07 mg/L without filtration and without the need to use large amounts of coagulant. The rare earth elements in ClariPhos™, cerium and lanthanum, bind tightly to phosphorus and form a dense precipitate that readily settles out of solution within minutes.

Easily switch to ClariPhos
In most cases, plant operators can simply replace conventional coagulants with ClariPhos to easily and cost-effectively improve the chemical precipitation and settling of phosphorus. ClariPhos requires no special chemical feed equipment and will often work with existing feed pumps. This simple switch can not only enable a plant to achieve regulatory compliance for phosphorus discharge, but it can also help communities to avoid spending millions for costly filtration equipment and ongoing operating costs.

Dozens of treatment plants are already using ClariPhos rare earth coagulant to meet stringent phosphorus targets and lower operating costs from reduced sludge production improved sludge dewatering and decreased sludge hauling and disposal costs.

Case Study:
In just one example, a 3.4 MGD municipal wastewater treatment plant tested Neo rare earth coagulant for its ability to meet a new final water quality effluent limit on phosphorus of 0.075 mg/L. The trial showed that the coagulant alone could consistently reduce phosphorus in the treated effluent to 0.036 mg/L.

This result was far superior to what the plant was able to achieve with its conventional coagulant, ferrous chloride, which could only reduce phosphorus to an average of 0.5 mg/L. After switching to Neo rare earth coagulant, the plant was also able to avoid installing new nutrient removal equipment, at an estimated cost of $2.8 million, and reduce solids production by about 35%.

Read the full case study.

Learn more about ClariPhos rare earth coagulants for phosphorus reduction.

Contact us today to talk about switching your phosphorus coagulant to ClariPhos.

How ClariPhos rare earth coagulant helps keep pH in balance, while also achieving ultra-low phosphorus limits.

DATE POSTED: August 21, 2019


We’re not suggesting that you can use ClariPhos™ rare earth coagulant to control pH. But it’s unique properties mean that it is far less likely to lower the pH of the wastewater system and require the use of pH adjustment with caustic soda or other chemicals. 

ClariPhos is a proven way to dramatically reduce phosphorus in treated effluent and achieve levels as low as 0.07 mg/L. This rare-earth technology outperforms conventional coagulants because it binds more tightly to phosphorus and forms a denser, heavier floc that settles more rapidly. By switching to ClariPhos, many treatment plants have avoided the need for costly equipment upgrades to meet stringent phosphorus limits.

ClariPhos is far less acidic than alternatives

ClariPhos has a median pH of 3.5, compared to ferric or alum coagulants that are typically in the pH range of 1.5 to 2.2. This means that these conventional coagulants can be up to 100 times more acidic than ClariPhos. 

This dramatic difference in pH is compounded when we consider that the dose rate for ferric or alum coagulants is typically two to three times higher than that of ClariPhos, which can dramatically impact the overall pH of the wastewater system. 

By replacing ferric or alum coagulants with ClariPhos, which offers lower acidity and dose rate, operators can maintain desired pH levels in the plant processes with little to no pH adjustment — translating to significant cost savings for chemical consumption and process control. 

Less coagulant = less sludge

The low dose rate for ClariPhos, along with its high affinity to phosphorus, also results in far less sludge production. Lower sludge volumes mean less pumping, dewatering, hauling and disposal, which contributes to lower costs and additional savings for each of these operations.

ClariPhos forms a dense precipitate that settles up to two times faster than ferric- or alum-based coagulants

Learn more about ClariPhos rare earth coagulant for phosphorus reduction.

Contact us to arrange an assessment and pilot test of ClariPhos at your plant.

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Why are rare earth elements so effective for achieving an ultra-low phosphorus limit?

DATE POSTED: March 26, 2019


RE300, ultra low phosphorus, strong bonds

When’s the last time you thought about the strength of the chemical bonds in your clarifier? Today’s the day — because strong bonds are the reason that the rare earth technology in ClariPhos™ outperforms aluminum- and iron-based coagulants to achieve phosphorus levels as low as 0.07 mg/L in treated effluent.

How does it work?

ClariPhos incorporates rare-earth metals lanthanum and cerium that have a high affinity for phosphorus and form a strong, insoluble crystalline ionic bond. By comparison, conventional metal salts cannot form a tight bond with phosphorus. Instead, they form intermediates to which phosphate adsorbs to the surface.

RE300, ultra low phosphorus, strong bonds

Denser, heavier compound settles faster.                                                                                                           

This tight bond, combined with the heavier atomic weight of lanthanum and cerium, means the precipitate is denser, more stable and settles about two times faster than conventional floc.

Another benefit of ClariPhos’s affinity for phosphorus and the tight bond is that far less of the chemical is needed to achieve excellent phosphorus reduction. ClariPhos binds to phosphorus at a 1:1 molar ratio, whereas Fe/Al coagulants bind at a ratio of approximately 5:2. Research data also shows that the ratio of Al/Fe coagulant to phosphorus increases significantly to achieve higher levels of phosphorus reduction and that tertiary filtration is often needed. ClariPhos, on the other hand, maintains the 1:1 ratio and does not require additional filtration equipment.

RE300, ultra low phosphorus, strong bondsCeCl3 (Rare Earth Salt) requires a much lower dosage to achieve low phosphorus concentrations, even at P levels <0.1 mg/L.

Watch a video to see how ClariPhos rare earth coagulant achieves an ultra-low phosphorus level in treated effluent without tertiary filtration.

Learn more about ClariPhos rare earth coagulant.

Contact us to discuss a trial of ClariPhosat your treatment plant.

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Rare-earth coagulant provides game-changing phosphorus reductions. Hit levels as low as 0.07 mg/L.

DATE POSTED: February 27, 2019



phosphorusHitting an ultra-low phosphorus limit for treated wastewater effluent can be difficult using ferric- or aluminum-based coagulants alone. Often, large amounts of these conventional coagulants must be used, yet treatment plants may still be unable to meet low phosphorus targets without adding costly filtration equipment.

But a new type of coagulant, based on rare earth elements, is enabling treatment plants to achieve phosphorus levels as low as 0.07 mg/L without filtration and without the need to use large amounts of coagulant. The rare earth elements in ClariPhos™, Cerium and Lanthanum, bind tightly to phosphorus and form a dense precipitate that readily settles out of solution within minutes.

Easily switch to ClariPhos by simply replacing current coagulant

In most cases, plant operators can simply replace conventional coagulants with ClariPhos rare earth coagulant to easily and cost-effectively improve the chemical precipitation and settling of phosphorus. ClariPhos requires no special chemical feed equipment and will often work with existing feed pumps. This simple switch can not only enable a plant to achieve regulatory compliance for phosphorus discharge, but it can also help communities avoid spending millions on capital costs for filtration equipment and ongoing operating costs.

Dozens of treatment plants are already using ClariPhos rare earth coagulant to meet stringent phosphorus targets and lower operating costs from reduced sludge production improved sludge dewatering and decreased sludge hauling and disposal costs.

Case Study:

In just one example, a 3.4 MGD municipal wastewater treatment plant tested Neo rare earth coagulant for its ability to meet a new final water quality effluent limit on phosphorus of 0.075 mg/L. The trial showed that the coagulant alone could consistently reduce phosphorus in the treated effluent to 0.036 mg/L. This result was far superior to what the plant was able to achieve with its conventional coagulant, ferrous chloride, which could only reduce phosphorus to an average of 0.5 mg/L. After switching to Neo rare earth coagulant, the plant was also able to avoid installing new nutrient removal equipment, at an estimated cost of $2.8 million, and reduce solids production by about 35%.

Click to read the full case study.

Watch for more information about FE300 in our upcoming newsletters and learn more about the operational benefits, cost savings and environmental advantages that rare earth coagulant offers.

Contact us today to ClariPhos rare earth coagulant and how simple it is to switch your phosphorus reduction chemicals.

Learn more about ClariPhos rare earth coagulants for phosphorus reduction.

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