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Removal and recovery of nutrients as struvite from anaerobic digestion/co-digestion residues of poultry manure

Yılmazel, Yasemin Dilşad
The main objective of this study was to investigate the removal and recovery of nutrients from anaerobic digestion residues of poultry manure through struvite (MgNH4PO4.6H2O, MAP) precipitation. To this purpose, three sets of laboratory experiments were conducted. In the first set, separate and co-digestion of poultry manure and sewage sludge were studied in laboratory-scale mesophilic anaerobic batch reactors and subsequent struvite precipitation experiments were conducted with the reactors effluents. The effects of important parameters on struvite precipitation were investigated and it is illustrated that up to 89 % of NH4-N, 84 % PO4-P and 42 % COD removals were possible. In the second set, the effluents of a full-scale co-digestion plant utilizing poultry manure and maize silage were subjected to struvite precipitation experiments. Acidic phosphorus-dissolution process was successfully applied to the solid phase effluents to obtain phosphorus-enriched solution. By the addition of external Mg and P more than 90% of NH4-N and PO4-P were recovered from phosphorus-enriched solution, whereas the addition of only Mg led to partial recovery of NH4-N. In the third set, the effluents of a full-scale poultry manure digester were subjected to struvite precipitation experiments. The findings illustrated that Ca has inhibitory effects on the struvite reaction and lead to formation of hydroxlyapatite and amorphous calcium phosphates together with struvite. Based on the results obtained in this study, it is postulated that, struvite precipitation is a viable option for the recovery of the nutrients in the anaerobically digested poultry manure. This study illustrated that, poultry manure, if managed properly, could meet one-fourth of Turkey’s domestic fertilizer demand.