A Green and Sustainable Solution to Global Phosphorus Depletion

Closing the loop through nutrient recovery from different waste streams is now evolving as a necessary, sustainable development objective, driven by the urgent need to reduce consumption of vital natural resources (e.g. phosphate rock), reduce gas emissions and conserve energy. A better understanding of the chemistry, engineering and overall process integration is developing quickly and new treatment process trains are already on line globally. A new ‘paradigm’ in wastewater treatment is emerging for nutrient removal and recovery, with particular emphasis on phosphorus. Dramatically shrinking global reserves of clean, economically recoverable phosphate rock are necessitating this paradigm shift. Commercial marketing of recoverable nutrients as ‘green fertilizers’, or recycling of those nutrients through biomass production into new outlets, such as biofuels, is now a reality .

An overview of recent research, process developments, technology transfer and global issues will be highlighted and discussed, including novel applications on the West Coast to re-build depressed salmon populations.

Date:              January 21,2013 (next Monday) Don Mavinic
Time:             3:00 PM
Title:               A Green & Sustainable Solution to Global Phosphorus Depletion
Speaker:      Dr. Donald S. Mavinic
Location:    ChemBio Engineering Building, 102-2360 East Mall


Dr. Mavinic has a Bachelor in Civil Engineering and a Ph.D. Sanitary Engineering from the University of Windsor. He has been a Faculty member at UBC since 1973, and is currently Professor and Associate Head of Civil Engineering. He was formerly Associate Dean, Faculty of Applied Science. He is a registered Professional Engineer in B.C.

Don is the co-inventor of a proprietary technology, the UBC Crystal Reactor, now marketed under license to the Ostara Corp., a UBC spin-off company. He was a Board member from 2005-2009. This technology successfully recovers excess nutrients in pellet form, and is sold as a slow release fertilizer, called Crystal Green. Don has received many professional awards and citations for this research, including the Manning Award of Distinction, an NSERC Synergy Award, a Killam Senior Research Award and most recently, the APEGBC Meritorious Achievement Award. Don has been a consultant to more than 80 clients, and has published over 250 peer-reviewed papers. He is a member of WTAC, Nunavut Territorial Government; a Special Advisor to the U.S. government on nutrient recovery technologies; and a technical advisor to the Peruvian Government, on resource recovery.

Don is a Fellow of the CSCE, CAE, and the EIC. He is a past Editor of the Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering, a past member of both the NSERC Grant Selection Committee GSC- 06 and the NSERC Strategic Grant Program, and a past member of the Board of Examiners, APEGBC. Over the past 30 months, he has been a guest speaker over 30 times, including the Parliament of Canada.