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Sustainable phosphorus recovery from waste.

Kleemann, Rosanna (2016) Sustainable phosphorus recovery from waste. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

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Phosphorus (P) is an essential non-substitutable nutrient for all living organisms, but it is also a dwindling non-renewable resource. Approximately two-thirds of the world’s supply of phosphate rock is located in China, Morocco, and the USA. Phosphate rock is included in the EU list of ‘critical raw materials’ and is ranked 20th in an index of commodity price volatility. P recovery from waste water can help alleviate reliance on imported phosphate and reduce vulnerability to fluctuating prices. This project explored the options for P recovery from wastes produced across Thames Water’s waste water treatment plants (WWTPs), the main foci being sludge dewatering liquors and incineration/pyrolysis residues. The research focussed specifically on the Slough WWTP and the operation of a newly installed Ostara system for recovery of P as struvite from dewatering liquors. The Ostara process is designed to operate with centrate PO4-P concentrations above 100 mg/l; to obtain these concentrations chemical coagulant dosing in the enhanced biological nutrient removal process must be reduced. Centrate monitoring following this change showed that Fe concentrations must measure consistently below 1.5 mg/l for PO4-P concentrations to remain steadily above 100mg/l. Following these changes onsite, operational savings and revenue can be produced onsite. Significant operational and maintenance savings totalling to £113K can be made in the first year of operation of the P recovery system in Slough WWTP. Sale of P rich struvite fertiliser produces annual revenue of £20K. Moving beyond the local benefits of P recovery, national benefits of P recovery were quantified. In a national context, a total of 28±1 kt P/year can be recovered from all WWTP waste streams, reducing P fertiliser imports by 36±1%. P recovery from WWTP influent and incinerated sewage sludge ash would reduce P losses to water bodies by 22±2%. Sewage sludge may be incinerated, producing incinerated sewage sludge ash (ISSA), or alternatively pyrolysed to produce sewage sludge char (PSSC). The possibility of recovering P from these residual solids was also investigated. PSSC samples contained significantly more nitrogen and lower heavy metal concentrations than ISSA samples due to the process conditions. The % P extractions from both ISSA and PSSC plateaus at 0.6M and 0.8M H2SO4 acid concentrations, respectively, due to the formation of gypsum on the particles, so that further increase in acid concentrations does not increase P recovery. The knowledge gained through this research has been used to improve the understanding and efficiency of the P recovery system at Slough WWTP. The information learned about pyrolysis residues will be used by Thames Water to develop a novel P recovery process from PSSC. Combined, these findings can impact the industry by creating incentives and inform policies regarding P recovery.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects : Wastewater treatment; phosphorus; phosphorus recovery;
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
Date : 29 February 2016
Funders : EPSRC
Contributors :
Thesis supervisorChenoweth,
Thesis supervisorClift,
Thesis supervisorMorse,
Thesis supervisorPearce, Petepetepearce@farmiloefisher.comUNSPECIFIED
Thesis supervisorSaroj,
Depositing User : Rosanna Kleemann
Date Deposited : 01 Mar 2016 09:07
Last Modified : 01 Mar 2016 09:07

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