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Phosphorus Removal in a Novel Fluidized Bed Crystallizer

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  034123,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.13879) @2003
Authors:   Keith E. Bowers, Philip W. Westerman
Keywords:   Phosphorus, wastewater, lagoon, struvite

The objective was to design and evaluate a crystallizer for economical removal of phosphorus from swine waste lagoon liquid. Methods used included (1) setting forth the main design elements; (2) modeling the behavior of a crystallizer with those elements; (3) using the model to specify the dimensions of a laboratory-scale crystallizer; (4) operating the laboratory-scale crystallizer to characterize its behavior at steady state and in factorial experiments to study variation in its performance; (5) comparing the behavior against model-predicted behavior; and (6) conducting factorial experiments with an on-site system to study variations in its performance. The results of the study showed that the laboratory-scale crystallizer achieved near-steady state with total phosphorus reduction slightly greater than expected and with a concentration profile close to that predicted by a model assuming plug flow of the liquid and perfect mixing of the bed. The laboratory-scale crystallizer exhibited greater phosphorus removal with increasing magnesium addition and increasing pH enhancement, but flow rate showed no significant effect. The on-site crystallizer exhibited similar variation in performance, except that decreasing flow rate was associated with greater removal. Removal of total phosphorus, including both dissolved and suspended phosphorus, reached 80-90% in the field system. This degree of removal implies that the system may be useful at commercial livestock operations where phosphorus content of the waste water needs to be significantly reduced.

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