Enhanced nutrients removal in conventional anaerobic digestion processes

M.Z. Othman, Goksel Demirer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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 4 PO 4 .6H 2 O) 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
JournalWorld Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology
StatePublished - 2009


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