The Hias Process is a novel solution for environment-friendly treatment of wastewater. It is cost-effective and carbon-friendly – and fuels the circular economy with recycled phosphorus.
Treating wastewater is either expensive, chemical-intensive or both. And over 80 per cent of the world’s wastewater is released into nature without treatment, according to the UN. As a result, many parts of the world have huge problems with contaminated water.
On the other hand, wastewater is one of the world’s largest untapped resources for recycled phosphorus. Traditional wastewater treatment, however, has not focused on such potential side-effects, using chemicals that effectively block the recycling of phosphorus.
To improve traditional wastewater treatment, Hias How2O has created the Hias Process, a continuous biological water treatment.
The Hias Process cleans wastewater by facilitating the growth of naturally occurring bacteria in biofilm. This removes phosphorus, nitrogen and organic substances from the water without the use of heavy chemicals.
After treatment, about 50 per cent of the phosphorus becomes available for recycling. Since the Hias Process does not involve any chemicals, the recycled phosphorus can be used for high-grade fertiliser and other agricultural products.
The Hias Process not only makes wastewater treatment less expensive and more effective; it can also be an important contributor to the circular economy in agriculture.
An independent feasibility study found the Hias Process to have low capital expenditure and a small carbon footprint, compared to mainstream technologies.
Global investment in wastewater treatment infrastructure is forecast to rise by more than 20 per cent in the coming decades. In Norway alone, the investments needed until 2040 is estimated to be USD 1.75 billion. On a global level, the corresponding investment needs are counted in trillions, according to the OECD.
Hias How2O springs out of Hias IKS, a cooperative between four municipalities in eastern Norway, founded in 1974. Hias IKS owns and runs several water treatment plants in the region.
Biological process for wastewater treatment
About 30 per cent lower total costs than traditional methods
Recycles 50 per cent of phosphorus into high-grade fertiliser