The Seaborne process separates nutrients from the sewage sludge and produces a high quality fertilizer without heavy metals or organic pollutants. A first large-scale pilot plant with a modified Seaborne Technology was built on the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) of Gifhorn in Germany. The plant was established in the year 2005 and the start-of-operation phase is being monitored technically and scientifically. The priority objective of the technical and scientific monitoring is to determine the efficiency of the process. This includes monitoring of resource consumption as well as the quality and quantity of the produced fertilizer. Furthermore the influence of this technology on the operation of the WWTP will be investigated. Another question to be answered is the profitability of the recycling process and a possible transferability to other WWTPs.
Mass balances of nutrient and pollutant streams established before start-of-operation will be used as reference values for comparing future results. In addition, organic and inorganic pollutant concentrations in the digested sludge were determined before the sludge was fed to the Seaborne process. The obtained reference values will then be compared with the measuring results obtained under operation of the Seaborne process. Thus load redistribution in the material flows of the WWTP will be determined. Since so far, no stable operation of the large-scale Seaborne Technology has been achieved, it has not been possible to carry out the measuring programme. Therefore reference values for nutrient streams obtained from the primary mass balances, were used to calculate expected mass balances after implementing the Seaborne Technology to the WWTP, in order to be able to estimate possible future load redistribution in the material flows of the WWTP.