Efficient recovery of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus from waste activated sludge

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus need to be recovered to reduce the environmental impact of waste activated sludge (WAS). In this study the improved short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) production from WAS by the addition of kitchen waste to adjust the ratio of carbon to nitrogen (C/N), and the efficient recovery of nitrogen and phosphorus from the fermentation liquid were reported. Firstly, the optimum conditions for SCFA production were found to be pH 8, temperature 35 °C, C/N ratio 21 mg-C/1 mg-N, and fermentation time 6 d, using the response surface methodology. After alkaline fermentation, the struvite precipitation method was applied to efficiently and simultaneously recover the released ammonia and phosphorus from the fermentation liquid. Finally, the fermentation liquid was used as the additional carbon source for biological nitrogen and phosphorus removal. It was observed that, compared with acetic acid, the use of fermentation liquid as carbon source showed greater removal efficiencies of total nitrogen and total phosphorus.

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