Performance of a Pilot-Scale Air Sparged Continuous Flow Reactor and Hydrocyclone for Struvite Precipitation and Removal from Liquid Swine Manure

Raman, D.
Shepherd, Timothy
Burns, Robert
Moody, Lara
Raman, D. Raj
Stalder, Kenneth
Stalder, Kenneth
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Animal Science
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Animal ScienceAgricultural and Biosystems Engineering

The objective of this research was to test a pilot-scale air sparged tank reactor (ASTR) and the ASTR in combination with a hydrocyclone (called the pilot-scale ASTR-hydrocyclone system) on two swine manure slurries for struvite-based (MgNH4PO4-6H2O) phosphorus removal and recovery. The pilot-scale ASTR system operated at flow rates of 80 to 115 L/min and was based on the bench-scale design from Shepherd et al. (2007). The ASTR effluent was processed using a hydrocyclone separator for struvite separation and total phosphorus (TP) recovery. The pilot-scale ASTR-hydrocyclone system provided a 92% reduction of dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP) in manure slurry from a swine finishing facility concrete storage tank and a 91% reduction of DRP in manure slurry collected from a swine finishing facility deep-pit under floor collection system. The pilot-scale ASTR-hydrocyclone system removed 18% of TP in swine manure from a concrete storage tank and 9% to 14% of TP in swine manure slurry from a deep-pit under floor collection system. The low TP recovery was attributed to the hydrocyclones inability to provide effective struvite separation as operated. Full-scale economics and implementation of the tested struvite-based phosphorus removal is discussed. A case study of a typical Iowa deep-pit swine production facility (10,000 head/year) indicated that the annual cost of struvite-based phosphorus removal using this system would be approximately $8.88/finished pig or $0.035/L manure slurry treated ($ 0.134/gal). This cost often exceeds producer's profit margins; this indicates that struvite-based phosphorus removal using this ASTR-hydrocyclone system in swine finisher manure slurries is not currently economically viable.


This article is from Applied Engineering in Agriculture, 25, no. 2 (2009): 257–267.