Chemical extraction methods are used to investigate metal and phosphate speciation during anaerobic digestion of phosphorus-rich sludge. Tests were performed using model compounds to evaluate the efficacy of the reagents in the extraction sequences and these results compared with similar work by other researchers. The metal speciation method was found to be suitable for identifying shifts in metal distribution but was unrepresentative of actual metal species. The phosphate speciation method did give adequate separation of the phosphate compounds tested. Full-scale digesters treating chemical and biological phosphate removal (CPR and BPR) sludge were analysed according to the methods developed. Results show that digestion of CPR sludge did not increase the soluble P concentration in the digester and that most of the precipitated phosphorus appeared to be retained in the sludge as inorganic P. The digester treating BPR sludge showed increased soluble and water-extractable P, in comparison to the control digester. Trace metal speciation profiles were found to be affected by addition of CPR sludge.

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