Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Florence, South Carolina » Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Conservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #341758

Research Project: Improvement of Soil Management Practices and Manure Treatment/Handling Systems of the Southern Coastal Plain

Location: Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Conservation Research

Title: Phosphorus recovery from anaerobic swine lagoon sludge using the quick wash process

item Szogi, Ariel
item Vanotti, Matias
item Shumaker, Paul

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/31/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Long term and significant accumulation of sludge in anaerobic swine lagoons reduces its storage volume and ability to treat waste. Usually, excess accumulation of lagoon sludge is removed by dredging. The dredged sludge is then land applied at agronomic rates according to its nutrient content. Because of the accumulation of phosphorus (P) in the sludge, nutrient management plans may limit application to crop or pastureland near the animal facility to avoid P build up in excess of soil and crop assimilative capacities. Although dewatered sludge can be moved off the farm, transportation becomes less economical with increasing distances. An option is to extract and recover P in a concentrated form for its economical transfer to P-deficient croplands, for use as fertilizer. A patented treatment process, called Quick Wash (QW), developed by USDA-ARS for extraction and recovery of P was tested for recovery of P from anaerobic swine lagoon sludge. With the QW process, P was extracted in solution from dredged sludge by mixing with sulfuric acid prior to dewatering using polymer enhanced mechanical solid-liquid separation. Thereafter, P was recovered by addition of liquid lime and an anionic flocculent to the separated liquid extract to form a calcium-containing P precipitate. The QW process generated two solid products: 1) sludge solids low in P; and 2) a concentrated P material. While most of the nitrogen and carbon was left in the washed sludge solids, the QW process extracted and recovered as much as 90 % of the P from sludge. From results of a pilot field test, the P grade of the recovered phosphate was in the range of 24.0% - 30.5 % P2O5. The inclusion of this process in a lagoon sludge management plan offers producers an opportunity to locally land-apply the low-P sludge as a carbon-rich soil amendment and recover P as a valuable product for export from the farm.