One of the options to recycle phosphorus (P) in the wastewater sector is to recover it as struvite crystals from digested sludge. Measurements on a full-scale demonstration plant in Leuven, Belgium, yielded a first indication of the profitability of struvite recovery, in function of different variables such as incoming PO43− concentration, MgCl2 dosing, improved dewaterability, etc. An uncertainty and sensitivity analysis was carried out. Although possible improvement in sludge dewaterability when recovering struvite from digested sludge has a positive economic amortization effect, it is at the same time the largest source of financial risk. A theoretical exercise showed that for struvite recovery from centrate, uncertainty would be lower, and the largest sensitivity would be attributed to ingoing PO43− concentration. Although struvite recovery from digested sludge is riskier, it is an investment with potentially a higher return than investment in struvite recovery from centrate. The article provides information for possible financial incentive schemes to support P-recovery.
Full-scale phosphorus recovery from digested wastewater sludge in Belgium – part II: economic opportunities and risks
Sam Geerts, Adrien Marchi, Marjoleine Weemaes; Full-scale phosphorus recovery from digested wastewater sludge in Belgium – part II: economic opportunities and risks. Water Sci Technol 1 February 2015; 71 (4): 495–502. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2014.509
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