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Phosphorus Recovery Potential in Anaerobic Digestion Residues

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This study investigated the phosphorus recovery potential of the anaerobic digestion residues of four different wastes, namely, poultry manure, mixture of swine and cattle manure and energy plants, mixture of poultry manure and maize silage, and sewage sludge. A phosphorus balance was conducted over the process. The calculations depicted that 80–99 % of the phosphorus remain in the solid phase of the digester samples. To increase the efficiency of the phosphorus recovery, P-dissolution process was applied to both the liquid and the solid phase samples with a phosphorus release rate of 76–100%. Several experiments were conducted under different conditions by P-dissolved solutions. The results depicted that the adjustable operational parameters of struvite precipitation process (P:Mg molar ratio, pH) affect the type of the precipitating mineral but not the recovery efficiency. Overall mass balance depicted that the rate limiting step in the process is the P-dissolution i.e. the release of the bound phosphorus into the aqueous phase. This study depicted that 77 – 98% of the phosphorus present in anaerobic digestion residues can be recovered via application of a novel P-dissolution process prior to struvite precipitation.
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Keywords: Anaerobic digestion; animal manure; phosphorus balance; phosphorus recovery; struvite

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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