This paper presents a study regarding ammonium removal from rare-earth wastewater by struvite precipitation with natural brucite mineral as a source of magnesium. Experimental results indicated that a pH ranging from 8.5 to 9.5 was the optimum for the removal of ammonium using the soluble form of brucite as a magnesium source. Additionally, when solid brucite was used as a magnesium source as well as an alkali reagent, the initial ammonium concentration of 4,535 mg/L decreased to 239–317 mg/L after an reaction time of 12 h in wastewater treated with the S/L (solid brucite/liquid wastewater) ratios ranging from 31.2 to 63.2 g/L. Furthermore, as some non-reacted brucite still remained in the precipitates obtained at the end of reaction, the precipitates were subjected to reuse. The reuse results demonstrated that the reuse of the precipitates obtained with 63.2 g/L was feasible, and almost half of the brucite dose could be saved.
Keywords: ammonium, brucite mineral, phosphorus, rare-earth, struvite precipitation