Reclaiming phosphorus as struvite from hog manure

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2011, 2012
Ackerman, Joe
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Ackerman, J. N., and N. Cicek. 2011. Phosphorus removal and recovery from hog lagoon supernatant using a gravity-settled batch reactor and increased pH. Biological Engineering Transactions 4(4): 207-218.
The over application of manure phosphorus (P) to farmlands can lead to P build up in the soil and eventual runoff to surface waters causing eutrophication. Reducing P in manure by precipitation of struvite enables P capture and reuse as a fertilizer in the agricultural supply stream. Struvite precipitation is dictated by levels of soluble P which can be highly variable according to manure treatment and management. This research studied P forms in liquid pig manure, ways of increasing P-PO4 levels in manure from strategic storage conditions, novel struvite reactors, and the effectiveness of struvite as a fertilizer. Studies that monitored soluble nutrients during manure storage revealed that P-PO4 concentration was sensitive to pH and time. Anaerobic fermentation of manure increased P-PO4 by 2.5 fold with 12 days of storage, provided the buffering by alkalinity was low. Two different struvite reactors were operated, a batch-type system for processing lagoon supernatant and an upflow air sparged reactor that used supernatant from a rotary press solids separator. They achieved 75% and 31% total P removal, respectively. The upflow reactor operated without chemical addition at pH 6.8 to produce high purity struvite free of calcium phosphates. Costs of both reactors were comparable ($0.0139 and $0.0167/kg live pig wt) and similar to other pilot struvite reactors. Manure derived struvite was compared with pure struvite and commercial fertilizer for agronomic value in canola production. Results of a greenhouse pot experiment showed no significant difference between the two struvites despite impurities in the manure precipitate.
phosphorus, struvite, manure
Ackerman, J. N., N. Cicek, and J. Oleszkiewicz. 2012. Anaerobic fermentation of pig manure to increase phosphorus removal by struvite precipitation. Biological Engineering Transactions 5(4): 177-189.