A full-scale struvite crystallization system was operated for the treatment of the centrate obtained from the sludge anaerobic digester in a municipal wastewater treatment plant. Additionally, the feasibility of an industrial grade Mg(OH)2 as a cheap magnesium and alkali source was also investigated. The struvite crystallization plant was operated for two different periods: period I, in which an influent with low phosphate concentration (34.0 mg P·L-1) was fed to the crystallization plant; and period II, in which an influent with higher phosphate concentration (68.0 mg P·L-1) was used. A high efficiency of phosphorus recovery by struvite crystallization was obtained, even when the effluent treated had a high level of alkalinity. Phosphorus recovery percentage was around 77%, with a phosphate concentration in the effluent between 10.0 and 30.0 mg P·L-1. The experiments gained struvite pellets of 0.5-5.0 mm size. Moreover, the consumption of Mg(OH)2 was estimated at 1.5 mol Mg added·mol P recovered-1. Thus, industrial grade Mg(OH)2 can be an economical alternative as magnesium and alkali sources for struvite crystallization at industrial scale.
- Industrial magnesium hydroxide
- Municipal wastewater
- Phosphorus recovery
- Struvite pellets