Clarkson professors secure $749,000 USDA grant for technology to mitigate phosphate pollution
Professors Silvana Andreescu and Stefan Grimberg of Clarkson University have received a $749,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The grant supports their research project, titled “Nanoadsorbents for Phosphate Capture and Recovery from Tile Drainage,” in collaboration with the W.H. Miner Research Institute.
Phosphate fertilizers are essential in global food production, with approximately 80% of mined phosphate used in fertilizers, pesticides, and animal feeds. However, almost half of this phosphate is lost due to soil leaching and erosion. Tile drainage systems, commonly installed in poorly drained agricultural fields to extend growing seasons and increase crop yields, contribute to the problem. They account for 30 to 50 percent of the total phosphate runoff from such fields. This runoff leads to water eutrophication, causing significant damage to the environment and aquatic ecosystems.
The research project aims to develop nano adsorbent technology to capture and recover phosphate from tile drainage systems. By addressing this major source of nutrient pollution, the team seeks to mitigate the adverse environmental impacts associated with agricultural runoff.