Innovation Case Study #16: American Elements Invents Phosphate Removal Chemical for Municipalities

#16: American Elements Invents Phosphate Removal Chemical for Municipalities


The Challenge

Phosphate buildup is a challenge to any municipal water treatment plant handling agricultural or industrial waste streams that often contain phosphate bearing nutrients, cleaning solutions and solvents. Phosphates are difficult to treat and remove.

The Innovation

In 2005, American Elements developed a line of powders and solutions based on the unique ability of lanthanum chloride to absorb phosphates at the parts per billion levels. After optimization American Elements constructed a bulk production facility and launched the product in May 2006 under the trade name Phosbuster™.

The Result

In 2012, American Elements sold their supply business and licensed the name Phosbuster to another company in the industry. Phosbuster is now used globally by municipalities from Milan, Italy to Los Angeles, California to control phosphate build up in their treatment plants and can also be purchased by retail consumers for use in home pools and spas.