Publications in Scientific Journals:
L. Egle, H. Rechberger, J. Krampe, M. Zessner:
"Phosphorus recovery from municipal wastewater: An integrated comparative technological, environmental and economic assessment of P recovery technologies";
Science of the Total Environment,
Phosphorus (P) is an essential and limited resource. Municipal wastewater is a promising source of P via reuse and could be used to replace P derived from phosphate rocks. The agricultural use of sewage sludge is restricted by legislation or is not practiced in several European countries due to environmental risks posed by organic micropollutants and pathogens. Several technologies have been developed in recent years to recover wastewater P. However, these technologies target different P-containing flows in wastewater treatment plants (effluent, digester supernatant, sewage sludge, and sewage sludge ash), use diverse engineering approaches and differ greatly with respect to P recycling rate, potential of removing or destroying pollutants, product quality, environmental impact and cost. This work compares 19 relevant P recovery technologies by considering their relationships with existing wastewater and sludge treatment systems. A combination of different methods, such as material flow analysis, damage units, reference soil method, annuity method, integrated cost calculation and a literature study on solubility, fertilizing effects and handling of recovered materials, is used to evaluate the different Technologies with respect to technical, ecological and economic aspects. With regard to the manifold origins of data an uncertainty concept considering validity of data sources is applied. This analysis revealed that recovery from
flows with dissolved P produces clean and plant-available materials. These techniques may even be beneficial from economic and technical perspectives under specific circumstances. However, the recovery rates (a Maximum of 25%) relative to the wastewater treatment plant influent are relatively low.
The approaches that recover P from sewage sludge apply complex technologies and generally achieve effective removal of heavy metals at moderate recovery rates (~40-50% relative to the WWTP input) and comparatively high costs. Sewage sludge ash is the most promising P source, with recovery rates of 60-90% relative to the wastewater P. The costs highly depend on the purity requirements of the recycled products but can be kept comparatively low, especially if synergies
with existing industrial processes are exploited.
recovery technologies, wastewater, sewage sludge (ash), heavy metals, material flow analysis, integrated assessment
"Official" electronic version of the publication (accessed through its Digital Object Identifier - DOI)
Created from the Publication Database of the Vienna University of Technology.