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Integrated Physicochemical and Biological Treatment Process for Fluoride and Phosphorus Removal from Fertilizer Plant Wastewater

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The phosphate fertilizer industry produces highly hazardous and acidic wastewaters. This study was undertaken to develop an integrated approach for the treatment of wastewaters from the phosphate industry. Effluent samples were collected from a local phosphate fertilizer producer and were characterized by their high fluoride and phosphate content. First, the samples were pretreated by precipitation of phosphate and fluoride ions using hydrated lime. The resulting low- fluoride and phosphorus effluent was then treated with the enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) process to monitor the simultaneous removal of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus. Phosphorus removal included a two-stage anaerobic/aerobic system operating under continuous flow. Pretreated wastewater was added to the activated sludge and operated for 160 days in the reactor. The operating strategy included increasing the organic loading rate (OLR) from 0.3 to 1.2 g chemical oxygen demand (COD)/L·d. The stable and high removal rates of COD, NH4 +-N, and PO4 3−-P were then recorded. The mean concentrations of the influent were approximately 3600 mg COD/L, 60 mg N/L, and 14 mg P/L, which corresponded to removal efficiencies of approximately 98%, 86%, and 92%, respectively.
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Keywords: Lime treatment; Two-stage system; biological phosphorus removal

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-08-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    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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