The potential of a new wet chemical process for phosphorus and aluminium recovery from sewage sludge ash by sequential elution with acidic and alkaline solutions has been investigated: SESAL-Phos (sequential elution of sewage sludge ash for aluminium and phosphorus recovery). Its most innovative aspect is an acidic pre-treatment step in which calcium is leached from the sewage sludge ash. Thus the percentage of alkaline soluble aluminium phosphates is increased from 20 to 67%. This aluminium phosphate is then dissolved in alkali. Subsequently, the dissolved phosphorus is precipitated as calcium phosphate with low heavy metal content and recovered from the alkaline solution. Dissolved aluminium is recovered and may be reused as a precipitant in wastewater treatment plants.
Keywords: aluminium phosphate, calcium phosphate, phosphorus recovery, sewage sludge ash