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Innovative Chemically Enhanced Nutrient Removal and Recovery Technology

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A novel nanocomposite media, which is highly selective for phosphate and can be regenerated, has been investigated. The nanocomposite consists of renewable resource carbon and magnetite nanoparticles. The media combines the filtration properties of high surface carbon with the high sorption capacity of ferric oxides for phosphate. The C-FeO nanocomposite was tested in static equilibrium beaker tests with synthetic phosphate solution and effluent from a dairy milking parlor (milkhouse dairy waste). Results show that the media has high capacity for removing phosphate, with performance greatly exceeding that of macro media products, and equaling a nano-iron impregnated synthetic ion exchange resin. Also investigated was the ability to regenerate the nanocomposite with the aim of recovering and processing recovered phosphate into a useful product. A one step regenerative process using a single solution containing 1M NaOH was used and 69% of the phosphorus was recovered using one bed volume in a single mix after a completed static beaker test

These results indicate that the media has high potential for the removal and recovery of phosphate from wastewater streams. Additionally, the regeneration requirements indicate low operational costs when applied to WWTP effluent and when combined with low-cost production methods, suggest a potential market-based solution to municipal wastewaters and industrial wastewaters with higher phosphate concentrations such as agricultural, food and beverage or pharmaceutical (nutritional). An economic model has been developed to maximize revenues and treatment cost offsets for a variable set of field inputs and water quality objectives.

The synthesis of such low-cost nanocomposites, which has been filed for patent considerations, is described. A patented, wastewater treatment system that selectively removes nutrients, using innovative liquid/solids separation and the novel nanocomposite materials for dissolved P-phosphate, results in improved water quality and nutrient recovery from point or non-point sources. Facility revenue can be maximized, or treatment costs can be offset, via reuse of by-product fertilizers and generation of nutrient trading credits, where such programs exist. established.
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Keywords: Magnetite; Nanocomposites; Tannin; municipal wastewater treatment; nutrient trading credits; phosphate recovery; phosphate removal

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2011

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