British Columbia’s Don Mavinic receives 2010 Manning Innovation Award for techno-fix that could help feed the world



Nutrient Recovery: Creating Value from Waste at Sewage Treatment Plants

“Civil engineer Don Mavinic started looking for a way to rid waste treatment plants of a concrete-like compound that was jamming up equipment – and ended up with a techno-fix that could help feed the world,” writes Scott Simpson in an article published in the Vancouver Sun newspaper on September 8, 2010.

To Learn More:

To read the complete story, click on Engineers with a green streak stand out .

Engineer, educator, entrepreneur and world expert

Dr. Donald S. Mavinic is the creative force behind a unique technology to recover the vital nutrient phosphate from otherwise pipe-clogging and polluting compounds iDon mavinic n wastewater. He and his research team at the University of British Columbia have received a 2010 Manning Innovation Award for a now globally applied technology in recovering nutrients (especially phosphorus) from wastewater.

Dr. Mavinic worked out the chemistry and engineering for the phosphorus recovery system with his research associate Frederic Koch and graduate students.

In May, Dr. Mavinic was formally recognized in the British Columbia Legislature when it was announced that he was one of six BC finalists in the 2010 awards competition.

Creating Our Future

“I don’t worry so much about oil, because you have alternate sources of energy. I worry about water and I worry about phosphorus. Without ‘em, nothing can live,” states Dr. Mavinic.

“Nutrient removal and recovery is a good example of what we, as a society at large, and Metro Vancouver in particular, must continue to espouse – resource recovery and reuse MUST be part of everyday life in a modern society, to sustain our enviable lifestyle.”

From Waste to Crops

“The UBC research effort has been all about producing a sustainable and marketable fertilizer; and we have succeeded! We have demonstrated that we can produce a slow-release and non-burning fertilizer from sewage. As long as there are people, sewage-based fertilizer will be a renewable and sustainable resource,” explains Dr. Mavinic.

Don Mavinic’s innovation turns a costly problem into a valuable product while addressing major environmental concerns of our time. The dead zone-inducing phosphorus pollution of natural waters is one of the most significant environmental challenges facing the planet. Yet phosphorus is also a dwindling resource that food crops can’t grow without.

To Learn More:

To learn more about the leading-edge contributions of Don Mavinic, click on Nutrient Recovery: Creating Value from Waste at Metro Vancouver’s Lulu Island Sewage Treatment Plant

To read a news release, click on UBC Researcher Wins Manning Innovation Award for Waste to Fertilizer Technology

To download a media backgrounder issued by the Manning Foundation about Who/What/Where, click on Quick Facts on Phosphorus Recovery

To dowload a media backgrounder issued by the Manning Foundation about the importance of phosphorus, click on The Why and How of Phosphorus Recovery

About the Manning Innovation Awards

The Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation has been recognizing and encouraging innovation in Canada since 1982. By means of a nomination, Canadian resident citizens, who have demonstrated recent innovative talent in developing and successfully marketing a new concept, process or procedure, may be eligible for one of these awards: Principal Award ($100,000), Award of Distinction ($25,000), Innovation Awards (2 at $10,000).

Professor Don Mavinic & Research Associate Fred Koch

Professor Don Mavinic & Research Associate Fred Koch