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Removal and recovery of N, P and K from urine via ammonia stripping and precipitations of struvite and struvite-K

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This study investigated the recovery of N, P and K from source-separated urine in laboratory-scale combined processes of air stripping and precipitation. Two operation scenarios were carried out to recover N/P (named partial scenario) and N/P/K (named complete scenario). Most of the nutrients were recovered (>70%) by optimising the operation parameters including the increase of air flow rate and more dosages of the sources of Mg and P. Absorbent rich in ammonium sulphate and solid precipitates including struvite, struvite-K, and struvite-Na was produced. The simultaneous recovery of P and K was the key process to determine the substance input. The ratio of substance input to nutrient recovered (P2O5 and K2O) was 4.14 in the partial scenario, whereas it increased to 10.61 in the complete scenario. The inevitable co-precipitation of struvite-Na mainly responded for the lower economic efficiency of the complete scenario.

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