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Resources 2018, 7(3), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources7030054

Simulations and Laboratory Tests for Assessing Phosphorus Recovery Efficiency from Sewage Sludge

1
Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Pavia, 27100 Pavia, Italy
2
UNECO Srl, Academic Spinoff, University of Pavia, 27100 Pavia, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 August 2018 / Revised: 22 August 2018 / Accepted: 28 August 2018 / Published: 31 August 2018
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Abstract

Phosphorus is a potential environmental pollutant, which could lead to the eutrophication of water bodies. For this reason, wastewater treatment plants worldwide are often designed and operated to eliminate phosphorous from effluents, at substantial cost. At the same time, phosphorus is an essential nutrient for agriculture and, consequently, human life. Data seem to suggest that the world will run out of phosphorus by around 2300, in the best case scenario, although even shorter estimates exist. This situation evokes the need for more efficient phosphorus recovery technologies, in order to meet current water quality requirements and—at the same time—critical future phosphorous needs. Chemical precipitation is the main process for achieving a phosphorus-containing mineral suitable for reuse as a fertilizer, where Struvite is an example of such a product. In this study chemical equilibrium of struvite precipitation was simulated using US Geological Survey (USGS)’ PHREEQC model, and results were compared to laboratory precipitation tests to evaluate struvite recovery efficiency under various conditions. pH had the most significant effect on the results and P recovery of >90% was achieved at pH = 9.5. Simulations indicated that struvite precipitation is affected by the presence of Amorphous Calcium Phosphate (ACP) and calcite in the final product of the process. The model showed great potential for predicting equilibrium conditions, and could be very helpful for future optimization of the process. View Full-Text
Keywords: mineral phosphorous; scarcity; wastewater; precipitation modeling; struvite mineral phosphorous; scarcity; wastewater; precipitation modeling; struvite
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Daneshgar, S.; Buttafava, A.; Callegari, A.; Capodaglio, A.G. Simulations and Laboratory Tests for Assessing Phosphorus Recovery Efficiency from Sewage Sludge. Resources 2018, 7, 54.

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