Impact of catalytic hydrothermal treatment and Ca/Al-modified hydrochar on lability, sorption, and speciation of phosphorus in swine manure: Microscopic and spectroscopic investigations

Xinyue He, Tao Zhang, Yingqi Niu, Qing Xue, Esmat F. Ali, Sabry M. Shaheen, Daniel C.W. Tsang, Jörg Rinklebe

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


The effects of catalytic hydrothermal (HT) pretreatment on animal manure followed by the addition of hydrochar on the nutrients recovery have not yet been investigated using a combination of chemical, microscopic, and spectroscopic techniques. Therefore, a catalytic HT process was employed to pretreat swine manure without additives (manure-HT) and with H2O2 addition (manure-HT- H2O2) to improve the conversion efficiency of labile or organic phosphorus (P) to inorganic phase. Then, a Ca–Al layered double hydroxide hydrochar (Ca/Al LDH@HC) derived from corn cob biomass was synthesized and applied to enhance P sorption. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and three-dimensional excitation emission matrix (3D-EEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), P k-edge X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES), were used to elucidate the mechanisms of P release and capture. The H2O2 assisted HT treatment significantly enhanced the release of inorganic P (251.4 mg/L) as compared to the untreated manure (57.2 mg/L). The 3D-EEM analysis indicated that the labile or organic P was transformed and solubilized efficiently along with the deconstruction of manure components after the H2O2 assisted HT pretreatment. Application of Ca/Al LDH@HC improved the removal efficiency of P from the derived P-rich HT liquid. This sorption process was conformed to the pseudo-second-order model, suggesting that chemisorption was the primary mechanism. The results of SEM and P k-edge XANES exhibited that Ca, as the dominated metal component, could act as a reaction site for the formation of phosphate precipitation. These results provide critical findings about recovering P from manure waste, which is useful for biowastes management and nutrients utilization, and mitigating unintended P loss and potential environmental risks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number118877
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2022


  • Animal and agricultural biowastes
  • Catalytic hydrothermal pretreatment
  • Engineered hydrochar
  • Manure waste management
  • Phosphorus recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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