Regular articles

Effect of organic matter on phosphorus recovery from sewage sludge subjected to microwave hybrid pretreatment

Yawei Wang , Qingcong Xiao , Hui Zhong , Xiang Zheng , Yuansong Wei


Received July 31, 2015,Revised October 16, 2015, Accepted October 19, 2015, Available online December 08, 2015

Volume 28,2016,Pages 29-36

Microwave (MW) hybrid processes are able to disrupt the flocculent structure of complex waste activated sludge, and help promote the recovery of phosphorus as struvite. In this study, to optimize struvite yield, (1) the characteristics of matter released in MW-hybrid treatments were compared, including MW, MW-acid, MW-alkali, MW-H2O2, and MW-H2O2-alkali. The results showed that selective release of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, Ca2 +, and Mg2 + achieved by sludge pretreatment using MW-hybrid processes. MW-H2O2 is the recommended sludge pretreatment process for phosphorus recovery in the form of struvite. The ratio of Mg2 +:NH4+-N:PO43 −-P was 1.2:2.9:1 in the supernatant. (2) To clarify the effects of organic matter on struvite recovery, the composition and molecular weight distribution of organic matters were analyzed. Low molecular weight COD was found to facilitate the removal rate of NH4+-N and PO43-P via crystallization, and the amorphous struvite crystals (< 1 kDa) from the filtered solutions had high purity. Therefore, the present study reveals the necessity of taking into consideration the interference effect of high molecular weight organic matters during struvite crystallization from sewage sludge.

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