Sustainable Sewage Sludge Management: From Current Practices to Emerging Nutrient Recovery Technologies
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Nutrient recovery from secondary resources, such as wastewater, has received increasing attention in recent years. Nutrient cycle sustainability and recycling approaches are important measures under development and considerations. This paper aims to present an overview of routes and technologies for nutrient recovery from sewage sludge and measures for improving their sustainability. First, current routes for nutrient recovery from sewage sludge are briefly reviewed. Next, an overview of commercial nutrient recovery technologies, projects, and emerging techniques around the world with the key factors for a successful phosphorus recovery technology is presented. Finally, a proposal for improving the sustainability of these practices is presented. It is concluded that the gap between demand and supply can be a major driver for the shift from ‘removal and treat’ to ‘recovery and reuse’. Moreover, there is not, and will never be, a one-size-fits-all solution. Future strategies and roadmaps need to be adapted to the local economy and geographical context more than ever.