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Title: Product and cost perspectives of phosphorus recovery from human urine using solid waste ash and sea salt addition – A case of Thailand
Authors: Yada Pinatha
Chongchin Polprasert
Andrew J. Englande
Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
Mahidol University
Center of Excellence on Environmental Health and Toxicology
Keywords: Environmental Science
Issue Date: 15-Apr-2020
Citation: Science of the Total Environment. Vol.713, (2020)
Abstract: © 2018 Elsevier B.V. Phosphorus (P) recovery from human urine was evaluated using the addition of MgCl2, sea salt and solid-waste (SW) incinerated ashes. The study objectives were to assess and compare their efficiency for P recovery, costs of chemicals added and relevant crystal characteristics. Results from the experiments conducted between pH range of 7–11 revealed that P precipitation efficiency was increased to 89–97% and 72–88% when MgCl2 and sea salt were added, respectively. Precipitates obtained from both cases were found to contain 10.8–17.1% P dry weight which is superior to commercial fertilizer (8.80% P). Based on SEM-EDS examination and chemical equilibrium thermodynamics, about 83% and 68% of precipitates were in the form of struvite for the addition of MgCl2 and sea salt, respectively. Although 18% less struvite was formed with sea salt added, cost was found to be reduced from 4.07 USD·(kg P)−1 for MgCl2 addition to 2.91 USD·(kg P)−1 using sea salt addition, representing a 28% cost reduction. Furthermore, SW ashes added into the urine increased P recovery efficiency about 6–17%. Addition also lowered the costs to 1.75 and 1.68 USD·(kg P)−1 for SW fly ash and bottom ash, respectively. Thus, ash addition reduced cost and provided an alternative to landfill disposal. However, addition of SW bottom ash might result in recovered P solids with lead concentration exceeding the EC limit for inorganic fertilizer. In summary, results of this study have demonstrated a pragmatic way to recover P from human urine with the use of sea salt and ash as alternative Mg source and seed. Results indicate that this practice not only produces a good-quality fertilizer as struvite for sustainable P management, but also helps protect the water environment, and support circular economy of P in human ecosystem.
ISSN: 18791026
Appears in Collections:Scopus 2020

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