Enhanced nutrients removal in conventional anaerobic digestion processes

M. Z. Othman, S. Uludag-Demirer, G. N. Demirer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


One of the main challenges for one phase anaerobic digestion processes is the high concentration of NH 4 + and PO 4 3- ions in the digested sludge supernatant. This project focuses on enhancing the removal of nutrients during the anaerobic digestion process through fixing both NH 4 + and PO 4 3- ions in the form of struvite (magnesium ammonium phosphate, MAP, MgNH 4PO 4.6H 2O) within the anaerobic sludge. Batch anaerobic digestion tests showed that Mg 2+ concentration in the range 279 - 812 mg/L had insignificant effect on CGP but incurred a slight increase in COD removal. The reactor that had soluble Mg 2+:NH 4 +:PO 4 3- at a molar ratio of 1.28:1:00:1:00 achieved the best performance enhancement of 8% increase in COD removal and 32% reduction in NH 4 + in the reactor supernatant. Overall, the results show that there is a potential to optimise conventional anaerobic digestion such that supernatant lean in P and N, and sludge rich in nutrients are obtained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1206-1212
Number of pages7
JournalWorld Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology
StatePublished - Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Anaerobic Digestion
  • Nutrients
  • Struvite
  • Waste Activated Sludge (WAS)


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