EAST LANSING, Mich. -

Michigan State University says a faculty member is part of a team developing a new method of removing phosphorous from wastewater, a serious pollution problem nationwide.

Steven Safferman is an associate professor of biosystems and agricultural engineering.

He's working with researchers at Columbus, Ohio, based-MetaMateria Technologies to devise a cost-effective way of recovering the phosphorous, which then can be reused for fertilizer products.

Michigan and many other states regulate phosphorus in products such as detergent and fertilizer, but it occurs naturally in all foods, as well as human and animal waste.

Safferman and MetaMateria Technologies are testing media that use iron nanoparticles to more efficiently remove larger amounts of phosphorous from water.

The National Science Foundation grant and Michigan State are financing the work.