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Murcia Este Wastewater Treatment Plant is the largest wastewater treatment plant of Murcia (Spain). The plant operators have found continuously precipitation problems in the sludge line causing pipe blockage and accumulation on the surfaces of different devices. This work studies the precipitation problems in Murcia Este Wastewater Treatment Plant in order to locate the precipitation sources and its causes from an exhaustive mass balance analysis. The DAF thickener and anaerobic digester mass balances suggest that the most part of the polyphosphate is released during the excess sludge thickening. Despite the high concentrations achieved in the thickened sludge, precipitation does not occur in this point due to the low pH. The ammonium and pH increase during the anaerobic digestion provoke that the precipitation takes place mainly inside the digesters. The 48.6% of the available phosphate is fixed in the digester: 36.6% precipitates as ammonium struvite, 40.4% precipitates as hydroxyapatite and the remaining 23% is adsorbed on the solids surface. Thermodynamic calculations and elemental analysis confirm that potassium struvite does not precipitate in the anaerobic digesters.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/193864707787977398

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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