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Enhancing phosphorus release from waste activated sludge containing ferric or aluminum phosphates by EDTA addition during anaerobic fermentation process
- Zou, Jinte, Zhang, Lili, Wang, Lin, Li, Yongmei
- Chemosphere 2017 v.171 pp. 601-608
- EDTA (chelating agent), activated sludge, aluminum, aluminum phosphate, biosolids, carbon, cell membranes, fermentation, ferric phosphate, metal ions, methane production, phosphorus, volatile fatty acids
- The effect of ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) addition on phosphorus release from biosolids and phosphate precipitates during anaerobic fermentation was investigated. Meanwhile, the impact of EDTA addition on the anaerobic fermentation process was revealed. The results indicate that EDTA addition significantly enhanced the release of phosphorus from biosolids, ferric phosphate precipitate and aluminum phosphate precipitate during anaerobic fermentation, which is attributed to the complexation of metal ions and damage of cell membrane caused by EDTA. With the optimal EDTA addition of 19.5 mM (0.41 gEDTA/gSS), phosphorus release efficiency from biosolids was 82%, which was much higher than that (40%) without EDTA addition. Meanwhile, with 19.5 mM EDTA addition, almost all the phosphorus in ferric phosphate precipitate was released, while only 57% of phosphorus in aluminum phosphate precipitate was released. This indicates that phosphorus in ferric phosphate precipitate was much easier to be released than that in aluminum phosphate precipitate during anaerobic fermentation of sludge. In addition, proper EDTA addition facilitated the production of soluble total organic carbon and volatile fatty acids, as well as solid reduction during sludge fermentation, although methane production could be inhibited. Therefore, EDTA addition can be used as an alternative method for recovering phosphorus from waste activated sludge containing ferric or aluminum precipitates, as well as recovery of soluble carbon source.