Characteristics of vegetable crop cultivation and nutrient releasing with struvite as a slow-release fertilizer

  • Kyung Jin Min
  • Daegi Kim
  • Jongkeun Lee
  • Kwanyong Lee
  • Ki Young ParkEmail author
Appropriate Technologies to Combat Water Pollution


Struvite precipitation is an effective method to remove and recover ammonia and phosphate from livestock wastewater. Struvite has properties similar to those of the traditional ammonium-phosphate fertilizer, which does not burn the roots owing to its slow-release characteristics. Struvite is an effective fertilizer as its nutrient-releasing rate is very slow. But the release rate of ammonia and phosphate in soil depends on the size of crystals. In this study, the nutrient-releasing pattern of three types of struvite crystals and liquid fertilizer was compared using soil column. X-Ray fluorescence spectrometry was conducted to investigate the potential use of struvite as a fertilizer. Various struvite crystalline fertilizers were evaluated for their fertilizer performance by cultivating potted vegetable crops. The nitrogen removal efficiency of zeolite-seeded struvite was higher than that of no seed struvite. The ammonia nitrogen removal efficiency was more than 99% irrespective of the kind of zeolite. The soil column test revealed that nutrient releasing from liquid fertilizer and zeolite-seeded struvite recovered from livestock wastewater was 11 and 63 days, respectively. Struvite recovered from livestock wastewater contained more than 20% (w/w) potassium oxide; however, the concentration of heavy metals, such as copper and zinc, was very low. Therefore, we considered that the synthesized struvite using livestock wastewater has high value as fertilizer. The recovered struvite was effective under appropriate concentrations to cultivate all the applied vegetable crops in this study.


Nutrient releasing Nutrient recovery Struvite Slow-release fertilizer Cultivation 


Funding information

This work was supported by the Korea Ministry of the Environment (MOE) as “The advancement of scientific research and technological development in environmental science program” (Project No. 2014000150005) and the “Human Resources Program” in Energy Technology of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP), granted financial resource from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Republic of Korea (Grant No. 20194010201790).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kyung Jin Min
    • 1
  • Daegi Kim
    • 2
  • Jongkeun Lee
    • 1
  • Kwanyong Lee
    • 3
  • Ki Young Park
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringKonkuk UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Environmental EngineeringDaegu UniversityGyeongsan-siRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of Environment and HealthJangan UniversityHwaseong-siRepublic of Korea

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