Enhancing efficiency and economy of phosphorus recovery process by customizing the product based on sidestream characteristics
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionWater Science and Technology. 2019, . 10.2166/wst.2019.178
The enhanced biological phosphorus removal process makes the phosphorus recovery feasible from the dewatering streams of biological sludge. The physicochemical properties of these sidestreams, as an input to a crystallizer, are different before and after anaerobic digestion. In this study, phosphorus recovery by calcium phosphate is proposed for Pre-digestion sidestreams and struvite precipitation for Post-digestion sidestreams. The thermodynamic modeling followed by experimental tests were performed to evaluate the recovery efficiency and product properties of struvite and calcium phosphates. The variations in phosphorus recovery potential, reaction kinetics and particle size distribution emphasize the importance of the adjustment of initial supersaturation and pH of the reaction. The optimum pH, considering the economy and recovery efficiency, for both calcium phosphate and struvite precipitation was found to be pH = 8.5, whereas further increase of pH will not improve the overall efficiency of the process. In the case of calcium phosphate precipitation, it was shown that possible phase transformations should be considered and controlled as it affects both process efficiency and product properties. The economic evaluation indicated that optimized operational condition should be determined for the phosphorus recovery process and that chemical costs for the production of calcium phosphates is lower than for struvite.