Science of the Total Environment
Current and future trends indicate that mining of natural phosphorus (P) reserves is occurring faster than natural geologic replenishment. This mobilization has not only led to P supply concerns, but has also polluted many of the world's freshwater bodies and oceans. Recovery and reuse of this nuisance P offers a long-term solution simultaneously addressing mineral P accessibility and P-based pollution. Available physical, chemical, and biological P removal/recovery processes can achieve low total P (TP) concentrations (≤100 μg/L) and some processes can also recover P for direct reuse as fertilizers (e.g., struvite). However, as shown by our meta-analysis of over 20,000 data points on P quantity and P form, the P in water matrices is not always present in the reactive P (RP) form that is most amenable to recovery for direct reuse. Thus, strategies for removing and recovering other P fractions in water/wastewater are essential to provide environmental protection via P removal and also advance the circular P economy via P recovery. Specifically, conversion of non-reactive P (NRP) to the more readily removable/recoverable RP form may offer a feasible approach; however, extremely limited data on such applications currently exist. This review investigates the role of NRP in various water matrices; identifies NRP conversion mechanisms; and evaluates biological, physical, thermal, and chemical processes with potential to enhance P removal and recovery by converting the NRP to RP. This information provides critical insights into future research needs and technology advancements to enhance P removal and recovery.
Venkiteshwaran, Kaushik; McNamara, Patrick J.; and Mayer, Brooke K., "Meta-Analysis of Non-Reactive Phosphorus in Water, Wastewater, and Sludge, and Strategies to Convert it for Enhanced Phosphorus Removal and Recovery" (2018). Civil and Environmental Engineering Faculty Research and Publications. 205.