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ARS Home » Northeast Area » University Park, Pennsylvania » Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research » Research » Research Project #430971

Research Project: Research and Development on the MAPHEX (MAnure PHosphorus EXtraction) System

Location: Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research

Project Number: 8070-13000-014-012-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jun 16, 2016
End Date: May 15, 2021

Adoption of the MAnure PHosphorus EXtraction (MAPHEX) System by farms in the Chesapeake Bay region will be improved by lowering costs, improving compatibility with different manure storage and handling systems, and adding other resource recovery components. Operating costs can be significantly reduced by cleaning and re-using diatomaceous earth (DE) filtration media or developing an alternative strategy for removing dissolved phosphorus (P) and fine organics. The MAPHEX System was designed to be effective on dairy manures, but can be adapted to remove P from other animal manures. Nitrogen (N), primarily in the form of ammonium, can also be recovered from the MAPHEX System’s final effluent.

We will collect the final solids (fine manure solids combined with DE filtration media) during demonstration and testing of the full-scale MAPHEX system. These solids will be mixed well, washed, and the DE recovered will be tested for its ability to be reused as filtration media, and its filtration efficiency will be assessed. Swine, poultry, and beef manures will be run through the MAPHEX system to assess its efficacy at removing P. In all testing we will collect data on throughput and P-removal efficiency with an eye toward improving the system and lowering both capital equipment and daily operating costs. For example, we already know that in certain instances (e.g. manure liquors from a settling pond) the entire system is not needed. We expect that some manures, particularly swine manure, may not need all three of the major components of the system. Likewise, since the solids generated by the system have an economic value, we will explore the beneficial end uses of these products with an eye towards daily operating cost recovery. Ammonium/Ammonia has been shown to be recoverable from various wastewater systems. We will work with commercial providers to provide options for removing N from the MAPHEX system’s final effluent. The expectation is that this effort will be a cooperative research activity with industry or other researchers with knowledge of P and N recovery.