Nutrients recovery from artificial urine through struvite crystallization and biochar adsorption

Presented by Xie actually June 2013

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Collection of wastewater in segregated streams is one of the new concepts in domestic wastewater management. One such stream is human urine, which contains nutrients including N, P and K. Nutrients from urine can be collected after struvite precipitation and adsorption/ion exchange onto adsorbents such as zeolite and subsequently can be applied for soil fertilization. However, this process usually consisted of two stages: first the removal of nutrients from human urine by an adsorbent, and secondly desorption of the nutrients from the adsorbent, which is not an effective process. The use of biochar as an adsorbent is an alternative option because it can be used to adsorb nutrients from urine and then can be directly mixed in soil in the field, avoiding the need for desorbing the nutrients if other adsorbent is used. This research presents a comprehensive investigation on nutrient recovery from human urine by struvite crystallization and biochar adsorption through a series of laboratory experiments under various initial conditions. The purpose of the study is to optimize the recovery of P and N from urine through struvite precipitation (by MgO addition) and NH4+ and K+ adsorption (by biochar).