Phosphorous recovery through struvite crystallization: Challenges for future design

Bing Li, Irina Boiarkina, Wei Yu, Hai Ming Huang, Tajammal Munir, Guang Qian Wang, Brent R. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

248 Citations (Scopus)


Phosphorous (P) is an essential element for living organisms and is predicted to be depleted within the next 100 years. Across the world, significant phosphorous losses due to its low utilization efficiency become one of the main reasons for water pollution. Struvite crystallization has been found to be a promising recovery technique to mitigate these problems, as the recovered precipitate can be used as a slow release fertilizer or raw material for chemical industry. Although this technique has been widely investigated over the past two decades, there are currently few real applications in industry. This paper addresses this issue by reviewing key aspects relevant to process design to pave the way for future application. It will help to narrow down struvite process design options and thus reduce the voluminous calculations for a detailed analysis. Struvite process development, research trend, product application and process economics are reviewed and a conceptual process design is provided. This analysis provides comprehensive information that is essential for future industrial struvite crystallization process design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1244-1256
Number of pages13
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


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