Treatment of pig farm effluents by aeration, struvite precipitation and filtration
These experiments were performed to verify the potential ways of treating pig farm effluents using aeration, struvite precipitation and filtration. MgCl2 brine was added as a source of magnesium for struvite precipitation. Following aeration, precipitated struvite was separated from the effluent by filtration through a compressed straw filter. The filter plus struvite can be composted to yield struvite-enriched compost. A series of 5 batch pilot-scale experiments (effluent volumes from 200–400 l) was carried out and laboratory tests on the same effluent were performed to validate the pilot-scale results. Following 24 hours of aeration the pH increased to from 8.5 to 9, providing good conditions for struvite precipitation. Filtration proved to be efficient for separating precipitated struvite and total suspended solids. The efficiency of orthophosphate phosphorus removal in the pilot system varied from 63 to 96%, ammonia nitrogen removal varied from 22 to 79%, but magnesium removal efficiency was low due to the high natural Mg concentration, suggesting that the addition of Mg might not be necessary. Chemical oxidation demand declined significantly as a result of very high bacterial activity and the treated effluent no longer had an unpleasant smell.
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