Background/Question/Methods Phosphorus (P) exists in significant concentrations in both animal and municipal waste and P as a macronutrient also has a detrimental effect on the environment via eutrophication. A potential solution seeks to recover P at the waste source and deliver it instead as a controlled release, to negate this environmental impact. Within this context, an electrochemical system that allows quantification of the P recovery and the energy consumed during this recovery is being examined using synthetic wastewater. This approach will evaluate the effect of 5 factors on the system’s response: cation concentration, nutrient concentration, fluid flow, temperature and voltage. A screening analyses combined with solid-state materials characterization techniques will be used to quantify these multi-factor effects and correlate the factors to the type of solid material generated.
Results/Conclusions Experimental results have shown that, based on the conditions tested, the cation concentration significantly drive the P removal efficiency, while the cation concentration, anion concentration and temperature significantly drive the energy consumption. The use of a renewable source of electrons for the proposed technology suggests the ecological driver for the proposed solution would be the P removal efficiency as opposed to the energy consumed for this removal. Furthermore, a third system response related to P release potential could be more ecologically crucial, as it provides information about the effect of releasing captured waste products.