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Sidestream Ammonia Recovery: Ammonium Sulfate Fertilizer Production and Marketing – A Sustainable Alternative to Biological Approaches

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The liquid stream generated by the dewatering of anaerobically digested sludge (sidestream) contains a high ammonia concentration. The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DCWater) is implementing a new solids processing train. In response to the construction of new biosolids facility, treatment options for the sidestream were investigated. Among the considered sidestream treatment options, ammonia stripping and recovery from the sidestream for the purpose of generating a fertilizer was considered. A conceptual-level design of the air stripping/absorption process was developed. A fertilizer market analysis of the Mid-Atlantic region to identify outlets for the Blue Plains product was conducted as part of the air stripping/absorption process evaluation. It was found that the Mid-Atlantic region has a sufficient magnitude of marketing potential for the ammonium sulfate fertilizer. Combining with the option to use lime in place of sodium hydroxide for pH adjustment, the operational and maintenance cost for the air stripping/absorption process could potentially be reduced significantly.
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Keywords: Ammonia recovery; air stripping; ammonium sulfate; dewatering; fertilizer; sidestream; thermal hydrolysis

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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