Sustainable Phosphorus Recovery from Sewage Sludge

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GRØN DYST 2014 Technical University of Denmark

Sustainable Phosphorus Recovery from Sewage Sludge
Author:A.B.S. Sørensen (DTU Environment, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark)
Date: 2014-06-27     Track: Main     Session: 1

Phosphorus is a vital nutrient for plant and animal production, and the use of phosphorus for agricultural land application is crucial to achieve a high crop production. The amount of the global phosphorus reserve is very uncertain with estimates as short as 48 years [MST, 2013]. Thus, there is a need for securing this vital limited resource. Denmark is dependent on phosphorus import and recycling. A solution is to recover the already used phosphorus from sewage sludge from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). The application of sludge as fertilizer in agriculture is practiced at some places, however this usage is limited because of reasons like pollutants in the sludge and hygiene. Therefore, phosphorus recovery in a more pure form is preferable. Additionally, this solution leads to economic savings and environmental benefits because of the reduced usage of chemicals to achieve the stringent limits on phosphorus in the effluent from the WWTPs and reduced scaling problems. The idea is to develop a sustainable technology to recover phosphorus as struvite, also called MAP, from reject water from digester and dewatering from secondary sludge.