Swine manure valorization for phosphorus and nitrogen recovery by catalytic–thermal hydrolysis and struvite crystallization

Tao Zhang, Xinyue He, Yaxin Deng, Daniel C.W. Tsang, Huimin Yuan, Jianbo Shen, Shicheng Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


Phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) recovery from swine manure has attracted considerable interest for biomass valorization. In this study, a catalytic–thermal hydrolysis (TH) process combined with struvite crystallization was investigated to promote P and N conversion from swine manure. Its potential as a phosphate-based fertilizer was investigated. Two periods for P solubilization and transformation were observed, i.e., an initial increase with reaction time followed by a decrease as treatment continued. Nitrogen conversion efficiency increased with increasing temperature and time. Treatment of swine manure by catalytic–TH with HCl + H2O2 showed the best performance for P and N solubilization and transformation. With a Mg2+/PO4 3− molar ratio of 2.49 and a pH of 9.11, the struvite crystallization efficiency from the supernatant after catalytic–TH with HCl + H2O2 reached 99.2%. Hydroculture bioassay showed that struvite had a positive effect on the early growth of wheat. The P concentrations in both root and shoot tissues for struvite treatment were more than two times higher than that of soluble P. These encouraging results warrant further studies on the conversion of biowaste given that recycling nutrients sources may outperform traditional synthetic fertilizers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number138999
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2020


  • Acid catalysis
  • Nutrient resource recovery
  • Phosphate minerals
  • Swine manure
  • Thermal hydrolysis
  • Waste valorization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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