Written by Eric Wanstrom
When the Grand Rapids, MI, Water Reclamation Facility was designing their new anaerobic digestion and dewatering facility, they additionally wanted to protect their process equipment downstream of the new digester from debilitating struvite scaling, break the recycle loop of phosphorus back into their plant, and recover this valuable element for beneficial use. With limited space available, and very specific project requirements, they needed a customized and multi-faceted solution for their plant.
Schwing Bioset was able to provide Grand Rapids with a unique solution, meeting the challenges of optimizing orthophosphate recovery, while protecting plant processes and dewatering equipment from Struvite buildup and breaking the P-recycle loop. Schwing Bioset designed a two-stage phosphorus management system utilizing NuReSys technology, specific for the needs of Grand Rapids. The first stage drives crystal formation downstream of anaerobic digestion, lowering struvite-forming potential and protecting process and dewatering equipment from scaling. The second stage implemented on post-dewatering centrate promotes additional struvite crystallization and then harvests this formed struvite from the centrate stream prior to returning to the plant. This allows for the recovery and beneficial re-use of the phosphorus in the form of struvite, while breaking the phosphorus recycle loop back into the plant.
The Grand Rapids WRF can continuously operate their Phosphorus Management and Nutrient Recovery System to remove soluble orthophosphate with this sidestream treatment. This protects the plant processes from troublesome struvite buildup, reduces the phosphorus return load into the plant, and creates a valuable product that can be beneficially used for fertilizer production.
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