Journal of Applied Electrochemistry, Vol.40, No.6, 1069-1078, 2010
Electrokinetic phosphorus recovery from packed beds of sewage sludge ash: yield and energy demand
The static lifetime of primary phosphate stocks is estimated as one century. Thus, the exploitation of secondary phosphorus sources becomes increasingly important. This study focussed on the feasibility of an electrokinetic phosphorus recovery from sewage sludge ash (P-content similar to 5 wt%). Packed bed experiments were conducted under varied electric conditions with and without acid pre-treatment and employing porous and ion exchange materials as electrode wells. Maximum values of phosphate concentration obtained in all experiments were around 2.5 g L-1. Galvanostatic conditions were superior to potentiostatic conditions and acid pre-treatment is preferable over packed bed saturation with water. Ion-exchange membranes improved the product quality but increased the energy demand. Phosphorus recovery below 1% of the initial contents shows that the recovery setup must be improved in view of a marketable application.