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Methods for phosphorus recovery from waste water: A review

By: Fatael Mahoo

Key Words: Phosphorus, Phosphorus recovery, Phosphate rock, Water pollution, Waste water.

J. Bio. Env. Sci. 13(2), 315-323, August 2018.

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The commercial source of phosphorus is phosphate rock whose reserves are estimated to be depleted within 150 years at the current rate of use. Wastewater is used as an alternative source of phosphorus, which was initially recovered mainly by chemical precipitation. Nowadays, other methods have been researched and developed. They include biological, sewage sludge, wetland plants and wastewater irrigation. Chemical precipitation produces round pellets that can be used directly as fertilizer but the method is associated with high operating costs. Biological method is much more favorable than precipitation due to lower sludge production and chemical usage. However the system is less stable and flexible compared to chemical precipitation. Sewage sludge has high phosphorus recovery efficiency of 90-95% but it has an adverse effect on human health and the environment due to contaminants such as heavy metals and pathogens. Wastewater irrigation and wetland plants methods are potentially the simplest and low-cost methods of phosphorus recovery. However, poor wastewater irrigation management can affect human health as well as crops. Wetland plants must be routinely harvested to prevent phosphorus that has been incorporated into plant tissue to be returned to the water by decomposition processes. The choice of a method is more likely dependent on factors such as its efficiency, strength of wastewater, legislation, population served and economics of the particular method.

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Methods for phosphorus recovery from waste water: A review

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Fatael Mahoo.
Methods for phosphorus recovery from waste water: A review.
J. Bio. Env. Sci. 13(2), 315-323, August 2018.
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