SMARTech n.

Integrated municipal WWTP

Key enabling process(es)



Cranfield (UK)

Mainstream tertiary hybrid ion exchange


Cranfield WWTP treats domestic wastewater from the Cranfield University campus including offices, student accommodation halls, 2 hotels as well as street and airfield run-off. The influent flow is 675 m3/day (dry weather -2,840 Population equivalent). Wastewater treatment process includes primary and secondary treatment followed by filtration.

SMARTech3 is the key to enable tertiary recovery of N and P based fertilizer based on ion-exchange processes to remove and recover nutrients from secondary effluents. Two different ion exchange media will be applied which are able to successfully capture/remove ammonia and phosphate from the secondary effluent. To overcome the limited supply chain of the ion exchanging materials, new ion exchange media, manufactured in the UK, will be applied. The aim will be to optimize the regeneration cycles for the nutrient recovery, trying to maintain a high sorption capacity after each regeneration cycle.

The overall SMARTECH3 includes: 1 micro-screen filtration for secondary effluent solids removal, 1 ion exchange process for ammonia  (N) removal with MesoLite media; 1 ion exchange process for phosphorus (P) removal with hybrid ion exchange media (HAIX) media, regenerant storage tanks (NaCl and NaOH), regenerant rinse water tanks and nutrient recovery processes: liquid-liquid membrane process for ammonia recovery,  producing ammonium  sulfate  and  a  mixing  tank  and  filter  for  phosphate  recovery  as  calcium phosphate (hydroxyapatite).

SMARTech3 is being operated as demonstration plant fed with 10m3/day of secondary effluent at the Cranfield University pilot-hall. The new system will be applied at the Cranfield municipal WWTP (UK) and will treat approximately 10-60 m3/d.

smartech 3 1
smartech 3 2

All demo sites

SMART-Plant is a member of the ICT4WATER cluster

SMART-Plant member of the European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform