Anaerobic sludge digestion is a widely adopted process for sludge stabilization. Phosphate removal from anaerobic supernatant is necessary to limit the phosphate returned to the head of the treatment plant, thereby improving the overall treatment efficiency. In this study, magnesium hydroxide (Mg(OH)2) was used to improve the sludge digestion efficiency and to remove phosphorus from anaerobic supernatant. The anaerobic sludge digestion experiment was conducted at a pilot scale, and the results showed that applying Mg(OH)2 to anaerobic sludge digester resulted in a larger reduction in SS and COD, a higher biogas production rate, a lower level of phosphate and ammonia nitrogen concentrations in the sludge supernatant and an improved sludge dewaterability. Research results at both lab scale and pilot scale on phosphorus removal from anaerobic supernatant using Mg(OH)2 showed that a high removal of phosphorus can be achieved through the addition of Mg(OH)2. The required reaction time depends on the initial phosphorus concentration and the Mg(OH)2 dosage.

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