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Full Scale Nutrient Recovery by Struvite Crystallization at Clean Water Services Durham AWWTP: Operational Data Analysis

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Pilot studies on nutrient recovery by struvite crystallization process have been successfully completed at various treatment plants across North America and Europe; results have been published earlier (Prasad 2007, Britton et. al, 2008 etc) establishing the viability of the technology. Benefits of nutrient removal from centrate sidestream to the main plant are widely published (WERF Report # 01 CTS-3, Benisch et. al., 2006,). Based on the findings from the pilot study conducted at the Durham Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant (Durham) in 2007 (Britton, 2008), Clean Water Services (CWS) decided to build a full-scale struvite recovery facility (SRF) at Durham. In May 2009, the SRF was commissioned and has been treating the centrate to recover nutrients by struvite crystallization since then. The SRF at Durham has three Pearl 500 reactors designed to treat 120,000 gpd of centrate daily to recover a maximum of 450 lbs/day of phosphorus. Initial results show that SRF has been treating centrate at an average of 280 lbs of orthophosphorus daily. Irrespective of the loading rates on the facility, effluent recycled back to the primaries carried around 50 lbs/day of orthophosphorus quite consistently minimizing any shock loads or variation which would negatively impact the biological process. Overall average orthophosphorus recovered has been around 85% along with 14% of ammonia. SRF has positively impacted Durham operational costs by reducing alum consumption by 20% or more in 2009 permit season and greater than 40% during the beginning of 2010 permit season.

Keywords: Sidestream; alum; nutrient recovery; struvite

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2010-01-01

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