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Prevention of Struvite Scaling in Digesters Combined With Phosphorus Removal and Recovery—The FIX-Phos Process

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The fixation of phosphorus (FIX-Phos) combines struvite prevention and phosphorus recovery by the addition of calciumsilicatehydrate (CSH) particles into the anaerobic digester. The CSH fixates phosphorus as calcium phosphate and reduces the phosphorus concentration in the sludge water that allows for control of struvite formation. The phosphorus-containing recovery product can be separated and recovered from the digested sludge. In pilot plant experiments, 21% to 31% of phosphorus contained in digested sludge could be recovered when CSH was added at concentrations of 2 g/L to 3.5 g/L to a mixture of primary sludge and waste activated sludge (WAS) from enhanced biological phosphorus removal. The recovery product contained few heavy metals and a phosphorus content of 18 wt % P2O5, which allows for recycling as fertilizer. The fixation of phosphorus within the digester may increase wastewater sludge dewaterability. The phosphorus recycle stream to the headworks of the wastewater treatment plant is reduced.
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Keywords: EBPR; FIX-Phos; anaerobic digestion; calcium phosphate; calciumsilicatehydrate; phosphorus recovery; struvite scaling; wastewater sludge

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-03-01

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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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