Assessment of K-Struvite Precipitation as a Means of Nutrient Recovery from Source Separated Human Urine


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Kabdasli I. , Kuscuoglu S., Tünay O. , Siciliano A.

SUSTAINABILITY, vol.14, no.3, 2022 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 14 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/su14031082
  • Title of Journal : SUSTAINABILITY
  • Keywords: human urine, K-struvite precipitation, nutrient recovery, operation parameters, solid phases, AMMONIUM PHOSPHATE PRECIPITATION, MAGNESIUM AMMONIUM, WASTE-WATER, SIMULTANEOUS REMOVAL, PHOSPHORUS RECOVERY, NITROGEN RECOVERY, LANDFILL LEACHATE, POTASSIUM, CRYSTALLIZATION, HEXAHYDRATE

Abstract

The impact of nutrients on the environment, particularly on water bodies, has led to extensive studies for nutrient control. Within this context, studies have been focused on source separation of human urine from domestic wastewater to recover nutrients. Potassium is one of the most important components of human urine. However, data on potassium removal or recovery are quite limited except for some indirect information through use of zeolites for mostly ammonia removal. Potassium struvite or K-struvite (MgKPO4 center dot 6H(2)O) is a sparingly soluble salt belonging to the struvite family that has the potential of being used as a means of potassium and phosphate recovery from segregated human urine. This study aimed to assess the potential of K-struvite precipitation for control and recovery of nutrients. Within this context, K-struvite precipitation experiments were performed on both synthetically prepared samples and synthetic human urine solution to determine effect of operation parameters i.e., pH, stoichiometry, and temperature on potassium recovery performance. Results indicated that process performance as well as type of solid phases co-precipitated with K-struvite were closely related to initial potassium concentration, pH, and reaction stoichiometry. At pH 10, the potassium recovery efficiency was maximized up to 87% by application of 100% excess dose of Mg and P for both synthetic samples and synthetic human urine solution. On the other hand, application of excess dose of K did not provide any improvement in K recovery efficiency. The effect of temperature on solubility of K-struvite was insignificant at the temperature range of 24-90 degrees C. Solid phase analyses confirmed that K-struvite was co-precipitated with either Mg-3(PO4)(2), MgNaPO4 center dot 7H(2)O, or MgHPO4 center dot 7H(2)O depending on pH and stoichiometry instead of a pure compound.