Nitrogen is an important parameter of leather tanning wastewaters. Magnesium ammonium phosphate (MAP) precipitation is a chemical treatment alternative for ammonia removal. In this study, a detailed source-based wastewater characterisation of a bovine leather tannery was made and nitrogen speciation as well as other basic pollutant parameter values was evaluated. This evaluation has led to definition of alternatives for source-based MAP treatment. MAP precipitation experiments conducted on these alternatives have yielded over 90% ammonia removal at pH 9.5 and using stoichiometric doses. Among the alternatives tested liming-deliming and bating-washing was found to be the most advantageous providing 71% ammonia removal.

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