Precipitation of Struvite (Magnesium Ammonium Phosphate) from Wisconsin Landfill Leachate
Roche, Anthony J.
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, College of Natural Resources
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The treatment of leachate is a focal point of landfill management. Every landfill produces leachate, and consequently, every landfill must treat its leachate in one way or another. It is typical that leachates with high ammonium concentrations encounter a surcharge from wastewater treatment facilities. In addition, leachate recirculation is also practiced by some landfills. While recirculation can lead to higher biogas production, ammonium levels can spike, thereby rendering methanogenic bacteria ineffective. For these reasons, a pretreatment method to remove ammonium needs to be explored. Precipitating ammonium in the form of magnesium ammonium phosphate, or struvite, is an attractive management alternative. Besides removing ammonium from the leachate, this pretreatment technique converts ammonium into a reusable product. Struvite has been shown to be an excellent fertilizer, with heavy metal concentrations below conventional store‐bought fertilizers. This study sought to optimize the operating conditions for producing struvite from landfill leachate and test the effectiveness struvite as a multi‐nutrient fertilizer.