Efficient Nutrient Removal and Recovery from Wastewater and Livestock Runoff

Technology #14564

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Researchers
Pratap Pullammanappallil
Gayathri Ram Mohan
Managed By
John Byatt
Assistant Director 352-392-8929
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending US-2016-0185633-A1

Struvite Precipitation Combined with Reactors Efficiently Remove and Recover Nutrients in a Reusable Form

This combined use of struvite precipitation and reactors efficiently removes and recovers nutrients from wastewater in a reusable form. In the United States alone, more than 1.2 trillion gallons of untreated sewage, groundwater, and industrial waste flow into waterways annually, and two-thirds of estuaries and bays are severely degraded because of nitrogen and phosphorous pollution. At the same time, naturally available mineral phosphates are in short supply. It is imperative to remove and recover and reuse the nitrogen and phosphates from wastewater. However, many companies avoid wastewater nutrient removal due to the long processing time and high equipment costs associated with available methods . Researchers at the University of Florida can use struvite precipitation and sequential batch reactors to remove pollutants from wastewater or stillage and recover nitrogen and phosphorus for reuse at a low cost. The combined use of struvite precipitation and reactors presents an affordable solution for treating wastewater and is ideal for municipal wastewater plants and livestock runoff purposes.

Application

Wastewater treatment for municipal, agricultural, and livestock purposes

Advantages

  • Efficiently recovers nutrients for reuse, providing phosphate in a time of shortage
  • Accelerates rate of crystal growth, reducing the settlement period of precipitated struvite and expediting the nutrient removal process
  • Creates denser crystals during the seeding process, allowing the reactor to precipitate struvite more quickly and with less equipment
  • Reduces equipment costs, providing a cost effective method for nutrient removal and recovery

Technology

Struvite precipitation is a means of recovering nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus from treated wastewaters. Existing methods for nutrient removal utilize struvite, but they often produce struvite so fine that it can take 10-14 days to process and require the power of several reactors. University of Florida researchers combine struvite precipitation with reactors to create denser crystals during the struvite process, allowing the sequential batch reactor to precipitate the struvite more quickly and efficiently with less equipment.