Research by Rixiang Huang†#, Ci Fang†‡#, Xiaowei Lu§, Rongfeng Jiang‡, and Yuanzhi Tang*†
Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient for all organisms, thus playing unique and critical roles at the food–energy–water nexus. Most P utilized by human activities eventually converges into various solid biowastes, such as crop biomass, animal manures, and sewage sludges. Therefore, integration of efficient P recovery practices into solid biowaste management will not only significantly reduce the dependence on limited geological P resources but also reduce P runoff and related water contamination issues associated with traditional waste management strategies. This study reviews the applications of (hydro)thermal techniques for the treatment of solid biowastes, which can greatly facilitate P recovery in addition to waste volume reduction, decontamination, and energy recovery. Research showed that P speciation (including molecular moiety, complexation state, and mineralogy) can experience significant changes during (hydro)thermal treatments, and are impacted by treatment techniques and conditions. Changes in P speciation and overall properties of the products can alter the mobility and bioavailability of P, and subsequent P reclamation and recycling efficiency of the treatment products. This review summarizes recent progresses in this direction, identifies the challenges and knowledge gaps, and provides a foundation for future research efforts targeting at sustainable management of nutrient-rich biowastes.
Huang, R., Fang, C., Lu, X., Jiang, R., & Tang, Y. (2017). Transformation of Phosphorus during (Hydro)thermal Treatments of Solid Biowastes: Reaction Mechanisms and Implications for P Reclamation and Recycling. Environmental Science & Technology, 51(18), 10284–10298.