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Ammonia Recovery from Pig Slurry Using a Membrane Contactor—Influence of Slurry Pretreatment

  • Agata Zarebska
  • Henrik Karring
  • Morten Lykkegaard Christensen
  • Maibritt Hjorth
  • Knud Villy Christensen
  • Birgir Norddahl
Article

Abstract

Pig slurry contains sufficient amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium for plant growth. If appropriately administered, this could substitute significant amounts of fertilizer. However, excessive fertilization with slurry causes environmental problems. To reduce environmental issues, solid-liquid separation or anaerobic digestion is needed to obtain a better distribution of nutrients. Solid-liquid separation produces a solid fraction rich in phosphorus and a liquid fraction containing ammonia, potassium, and high water content. Therefore, further concentration of ammonia is desired for any practical use. In this study, ammonia membrane stripping was carried out using polypropylene membranes and the impact of temperature, flow velocities, and liquid fraction pretreatment on the membrane contactor performance was tested. Sieved liquid effluents from a decanter centrifuge, a screw press, an AL-2 system (flocculation and filtration), and an anaerobic digester were tested. Since the properties of these liquid effluents vary, they might affect ammonia recovery. Thus, it is essential to investigate which effluent is most suitable as a feed for a membrane contactor and what is the cost of preprocessing. The mean ammonia mass transfer coefficient at 30 °C was found to be equal to 17 ± 2 × 10−3 m h−1. At 50 °C, it was found to be equal to 29 ± 2 × 10−3 m h−1 for all the tested effluents. This means that sieving after slurry separation or anaerobic digestion alleviates the influence the solid-liquid separation has on ammonia membrane stripping. However, the cost evaluation showed that solid-liquid separation using a decanter centrifuge followed by sieve draining is the cheapest of the methods investigated.

Keywords

Animal slurry Membrane contactor Ammonia recovery Mechanical separators Anaerobic digestion 

Abbreviations

Afilter

filter area (m2)

Am

membrane area (m2)

Asieve

laboratory sieve filter area (m2)

AL-2 system

commercial flocculation and filtration system for solid-liquid slurry separation (AL-2 Teknik A/S, Hovborg, Denmark).

Cf

concentration of solids in the feed effluent (kg m−3)

CTAN(t)

TAN concentration at time t (g L−1)

CTAN0

TAN concentration at time zero (Initial effluent feed concentration in a membrane stripping experiment) (g L−1)

DM

dry matter

Ei

collected liquid slurry effluents. i: 1–5 refers to different farms and pretreatments as shown in Fig. 1

Ei*

collected liquid slurry effluents sieved through a 125-μm aperture sieve. i: 1–5 refers to different farms and pretreatments as shown in Fig. 1

Ei**

collected liquid slurry effluents sieved through a 125-μm aperture sieve. i: 1–5 refers to different farms and pretreatments as shown in Fig. 1

g

gravitational acceleration constant (m s−2)

ht.(t)

actual suspension level at time t (m)

Km

overall mass transfer coefficient (m s−1)

L

length of active filter area on belt filter (m)

M

total sample mass in sieving experiment (kg)

PP

polypropylene

Rm

filter medium resistance (m−1)

SDS-PAGE

sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis

t

time (s)

t1

time at which sieving experiment starts (s)

TAN

total ammoniacal nitrogen

TKN

total Kjeldahl nitrogen

TS

total solids

Vf

initial sample volume of feed for the membrane stripping experiment (m3)

VS

volatile solids

Vfiltrate/t

rate of filtrate production (m3 s−1)

α

specific cake resistance (m kg−1)

Δp

hydrostatic pressure difference across filter (Pa)

η

filtrate viscosity (Pa s)

ρ

filtrate density (kg m−3)

χ

experimental constant defined as χ = (ρ × g) / (η × α × (M / A sieve))

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors want to thank The Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation for economical support. Further, we are grateful to M. Rishøj from GEA Westfalia for providing decanter centrifuge effluent (E2) and S. Skov for providing screw press effluent (E3). The authors’ thank E. Poorasgari and A. Farsi for help with gravitational draining tests and moreover H. Vestergaard Hemmingsen for the technical assistance in physical and chemical analyses of manure properties. Further, the authors want to thank The Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation for economical support.

Supplementary material

11270_2017_3332_MOESM1_ESM.docx (43 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 42 kb)
11270_2017_3332_MOESM2_ESM.docx (19 kb)
ESM 2 (DOCX 19 kb)
11270_2017_3332_MOESM3_ESM.docx (79 kb)
ESM 3 (DOCX 78 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical Engineering, Biotechnology and Environmental TechnologyUniversity of Southern DenmarkOdense MDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Biotechnology, Chemistry and Environmental EngineeringAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark
  3. 3.Department of EngineeringAarhus UniversityTjeleDenmark

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