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Effect of Seeding Materials and Mixing Strength on Struvite Precipitation

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Struvite precipitation has increasing interest as a technology for removing and recovering phosphorus from wastewater streams. Many chemical factors have been studied, such as optimum pH values and component-ion molar ratios, yet, understanding of physical aspects is lacking. Two physical parameters were tested: (1) seeding material addition and (2) mixing. Objectives were to evaluate three seeding materials and to optimize mixing conditions for struvite-crystal precipitation, growth, and subsequent sedimentation. Results confirm that mixing strength and proper seeding materials increase crystal size and improve settleability. For unseeded solutions, optimum phosphorus removal was achieved at a mixing strength of G = 76 s −1. Struvite crystals that were added as the seeding material provided the best performance with respect to phosphorus removal and crystal-size distribution. Overall, this study provided information to improve the practical application of struvite precipitation as a phosphorous-treatment technology for wastewaters, while generating a marketable slow-release fertilizer as a product.

Keywords: phosphorus removal; seeding materials; struvite precipitation; swine waste

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/106143005X89580

Publication date: February 1, 2006

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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