– Phosphorus Recovery from Iron Phosphate in Municipal Wastewater Solids as Useful Phosphate Rock
It is no secret, phosphorus has caused many headaches for environmentalist, engineers and biologists. A common issue is blue-green algae and can have severe consequences. Often, phosphorus is present as phosphate. Dissolved phosphate flows to and concentrates in municipal wastewater treatment plants. From there, iron chloride is added to precipitate out of the aqueous phase into solids. These solids are sent then sent to waste or sold as fertilizer, also called biosolids. Unfortunately, the phosphate present in these solids cannot be assimilated by plants. This novel process aims to transform phosphate into carbonate apatite, which can then be up-taken by plants. Ultimately this solution aims to solve some sustainability issues, as well as ensure food security.