The I-Phyc Solution

At I-Phyc, we understand that wastewater operators face growing environmental and economic pressures. We are very aware of the problems the wastewater industry has in removing contaminates especially phosphorus down to very low levels.

With this in mind, I-Phyc have developed a unique process, where we are harnessing the natural power of algae as a Biomass to remove contaminants from tertiary wastewater by using our Algal Biological Reactor (ABR).

ABR – How does it work?

Tertiary Wastewater

Discharged effluent. Contains solids, PO4. NO3, NH4 + others


Conditioned Algae



CO2 (from the air)

Polished Effluent

Microalgal Biomass

Tertiary Wastewater that is normally the outfall from the treatment works, is pumped to the I-Phyc ABR. The wastewater at this point contains nutrients in the form of Phosphorus and Ammonia, plus solids and other minor contaminants.

Microalgae is added at a set proportion depending on the Phosphorus / Ammonia load, the algae has been conditioned such that it is ready to uptake nutrients at a rapid rate.

The algae / effluent mixture is mixed using coarse bubble air diffusers and passed through a series of tanks that are internally lit with LED lamps. At this point algae will absorb CO2 and “exhale” Oxygen contributing to reducing the carbon footprint of wastewater treatment.

Once treatment is complete, typically this takes 6 to 8 hours depending on incoming loads, algae is separated from the now high-quality effluent and the effluent is discharged from the works to the watercourse. 

As a result of removing the nutrients the algae has grown / multiplied at this point and is harvested from the system as a usable resource. The majority of the algae is recycled and following reconditioning, is used again to treat the incoming effluent. 

The I-Phyc ABR

Bio P Removal

  • Bio P Removal is a chemical-free method for removing phosphorus.
  • I-Phyc’s system is a positive form of carbon capture – algae produce oxygen and lock in CO2.
  • Bio P Removal will become one of the most important technologies for the water industry moving forward.
  • I-Phyc can recover the Phosphorus and other nutrients and reuse them as a resource – algae is a circular approach to P removal.
  • Current legislation on Phosphorus consent levels are getting ever tighter – I-Phyc remove P to trace levels.

  • The I-Phyc system also removes ammonia to trace levels.
  • Removing P via chemical methods can leave a large carbon footprint. With the I-Phyc system, this is very small and in some cases zero.
  • Emerging contaminants are removed with the I-Phyc system.

Typical P Removal Chart

490 p.e.

Algae Harvesting

The contaminants that are removed by the algae have a positive effect on the environment:

  • Bio-fertilisers
  • Metal recovery – recovering precious materials
  • Bioplastics/bio-fillers
  • Bio-resins
  • Surfactants
  • Lubricants
  • Ink
  • Pulp/paper
  • Polysaccharides
  • Bio-refining (biogas, oil, diesel, ethanol, biofuels, etc)
  • Other – Pigments, Phytoextracts, Other bioactive molecules

Products from Algae

Emerging Contaminants

There are other contaminants in wastewater that are not being removed. The I-Phyc system can potentially remove a large proportion of these contaminants:

  • Pharmaceutical compounds
  • Plasticizers
  • Insecticides
  • Flame retardants
  • Biocides
  • Persistent Organic Pollutants- surfactants
  • Steroids
  • Metals
  • Diethylhexly-phthalate DEHP Source paint / carcinogen
  • Cypermethrin CP – insecticide / Toxic
  • Hexabromocyclododecane HBCD Flame retardant / Toxic
  • Tributyltin TBT – anti fouling paint / Toxic
  • Perfluoro octane sulfonic acid and perfluorooctanoic acid
  • 17 alpha ethinyloestradiol
  • 17 beta oestradiol
  • Oestrone
  • And others…