Phosphate recovery and simultaneous nitrogen removal from urine by electrochemically induced struvite precipitation.


Tan X(1), Yu R(2), Yang G(3), Wei F(1), Long L(1), Shen F(1), Wu J(1), Zhang Y(1).
Author information:
(1)College of Environmental Science, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu, 611130, China.
(2)School of Materials Science and Engineering Institution, Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute, Jingdezhen, 333403, Jiangxi, China. [Email]
(3)College of Environmental Science, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu, 611130, China. [Email]


The direct discharge of urine into water bodies leads to environmental pollution, and an increase in the water treatment cost, whereas recycling of the nutrients in urine is of significant economic value. A single-compartment reactor was investigated for the recycling of phosphate and simultaneous removal of nitrogen from urine wastewater by electrochemical magnesium induction, and electrochemical oxidation for the removal of residual nitrogen from the supernatant. The results demonstrated that phosphate recovery capacity was greater than 11 mg P cm-2 h-1 at a current density of 15 m A cm-2 and anodizing time of 20 min; the removal rates of ammonium and total nitrogen in the synchronous electrochemical oxidation were 80% and 75%, respectively, at a current density of 45 m A cm-2 and anodizing time of 60 min. The anodizing time and initial pH were determined to be critical control factors in the electrochemical struvite induction and nitrogen electrochemical oxidation. The on-site electrochemical nitrogen oxidation could rapidly utilize the alkaline supernatant following phosphate recovery. Thus, the integration of the single-compartment reactor, electrochemical magnesium dosage, and simultaneous nitrogen electrochemical oxidation demonstrates potential for application to decentralized reactors to treat source-separated urine.