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An economic evaluation of phosphorus recovery as struvite from digester supernatant

Shu, L., Schneider, P., Jegatheesan, V. and Johnson, J. (2006) An economic evaluation of phosphorus recovery as struvite from digester supernatant. Bioresource Technology, 97 (17). pp. 2211-2216.

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Phosphorus can be recovered from wastewater through crystallisation of struvite, MgNH4PO4 · 6H2O. Approximately 1 kg of struvite can be crystallised from 100 m3 of wastewater. Crystallisation is profitable compared to chemical and biological removal of phosphorus due to savings from the reduction in (i) chemicals used for precipitation and sludge disposal; and (ii) downtime for cleaning unwanted struvite formed during chemical and biological removal. The struvite produced annually from a wastewater treatment plant that processed 100 m3/d, would be sufficient to apply on 2.6 ha of arable land, as fertilizer. If struvite were to be recovered from wastewater treatment plants worldwide, 0.63 million tons of phosphorus (as P2O5) could be harvested annually, reducing phosphate rock mining by 1.6%. Therefore, this technology could provide opportunities to recover phosphorus sustainably from waste streams and preserve phosphorus reserves.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2005 Elsevier Ltd.
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