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Bed filters for phosphorus removal in on-site wastewater treatment: Removal mechanisms and sustainability
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering, Environmental Geochemistry and Ecotechnology.
2010 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

For many surface waters, phosphorus (P) leaching is a serious problem that should be minimized to prevent eutrophication. In Sweden there is a demand for physical and technical development of high-performance P removal techniques to reduce phosphorus leaching from on-site wastewater treatment systems to the Baltic Sea. However, although these systems are designed to reduce eutrophication there are also other environmental impacts to be considered when implementing them in on-site systems; energy use and global warming potential are two examples. This study has investigated several bed filter materials (reactive media and natural soils) for their total environmental impact (in commercial applications) as well as for the predominating chemical phosphorus removal mechanisms. The use of life cycle assessment revealed that several reactive bed filters are relatively energy-consuming due to the material manufacturing process. Characterization of phosphorus compounds in used reactive media provided evidence for calcium phosphate precipitation as the predominating P removal mechanism in alkaline filter materials. However, in soil treatment systems with noncalcareous soils, batch experiments and extractions suggested that aluminium compounds were important for P removal. According to mass balance calculations that compared accumulated P with the estimated P load in a soil treatment system, the long term P removal capacity was very low; only 6.4 % of the applied phosphorus had been removed during 16 years of operation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) , 2010. , 20 p.
Series
Trita-LWR. LIC, ISSN 1650-8629 ; 2049
Keyword [en]
On-site wastewater treatment, Eutrophication, Environmental impact assessment, Phosphorus removal mechanisms, Soil infiltration, Reactive bed filters
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering Water Engineering Soil Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-12048ISBN: 978-91-7415-578-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-12048DiVA: diva2:300260
Presentation
2010-03-19, V3, KTH, Teknikringen 72, third floor, Stockholm, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20110413

Available from: 2010-02-26 Created: 2010-02-25 Last updated: 2013-04-19Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Environmental systems analysis of four on-site wastewater treatment options
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Environmental systems analysis of four on-site wastewater treatment options
2008 (English)In: Resources, Conservation and Recycling, ISSN 0921-3449, E-ISSN 1879-0658, Vol. 52, no 10, 1153-1161 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Four on-site wastewater treatment systems with an end-of-pipe approach were compared for their relative environmental impacts and use of natural resources with the help of an environmental systemsanalysis (ESA) approach. The treatment techniques compared were infiltration, chemical precipitation, and P removal using the reactive filter media Filtra P and Filtralite® P. The chemical precipitation system attained the most favourable results from an environmental and resource conservation perspective.The reactive filter alternatives showed very high capacity for reduction of eutrophying substances. Both Filtralite® P and Filtra P, however, produce large environmental impacts in energy use related areas. The infiltration system attained low impact scores in all impact categories save eutrophication potential. However, the alternative possessed no nutrient recycling potential and its actual phosphorus removal capacity is highly uncertain, which makes it difficult to perform reliable comparisons with other alternatives. The reactive filter systems should be advantageous especially in very eutrophication-sensitive areas, where excess emissions of eutrophying substances under no circumstances can be tolerated. However, to limit the negative environmental impact in other areas, a topic for future research must be to improve the general performance of the reactive filter systems so that their lifespan can be increased.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2008
Keyword
Chemical precipitation, Environmental systems analysis, Infiltration, Life cycle assessment, On-site wastewater treatment, Small scale wastewater treatment, Reactive filter materials
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering Water Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-12042 (URN)10.1016/j.resconrec.2008.06.004 (DOI)000259888000005 ()2-s2.0-51049117915 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20100914

Available from: 2010-02-25 Created: 2010-02-25 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
2. XANES Speciation of P in Environmental Samples: An Assessment of Filter Media for on-Site Wastewater Treatment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>XANES Speciation of P in Environmental Samples: An Assessment of Filter Media for on-Site Wastewater Treatment
2009 (English)In: Environmental Science and Technology, ISSN 0013-936X, E-ISSN 1520-5851, Vol. 43, no 17, 6515-6521 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectroscopyis a useful technique for characterization of chemical speciesof phosphorus in complex environmental samples. To developand evaluate bed filters as sustainable on-site wastewater treatment solutions, our objective in this study was to determine the chemical forms of accumulated phosphorus in a selectionof promising filter materials: Filtralite P, Filtra P, Polonite, Absol, blast furnace slag, and wollastonite. Full-scale operational wastewater-treatment systems were sampled and in addition, filter samples collected from laboratory studies provided access to additional media and complementary samples.Phosphorus species were characterized using phosphorus K-edge XANES spectroscopy, complemented by X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) and attenuated total reflectance Fouriertransform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR). No systematic differences could be seen in the results between laboratory and full-scale samples. All six filter media contained significant amounts of crystalline calcium phosphates. Some samples also contained amorphous calcium phosphate (>60 % of totalP in Absol). In Filtralite P and blast furnace slag, more than 35 % of the accumulated phosphorus was associated with Fe or Al. Both the power and shortcomings of XANES analysis for characterizing P species in these filter media are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Washington, DC: American Chemical Society (ACS), 2009
Keyword
AMORPHOUS CALCIUM-PHOSPHATE, PHOSPHORUS SPECIATION, SPECTROSCOPY; REMOVAL, HYDROXYAPATITE, MECHANISMS, SOILS, SLAG, PRECIPITATION, FILTER MATERIAL
National Category
Soil Science Analytical Chemistry Water Engineering Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-12045 (URN)10.1021/es901084z (DOI)000269258000017 ()2-s2.0-69549090592 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20101005

Available from: 2010-02-25 Created: 2010-02-25 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
3. Wastewater treatment by soil infiltration: Long-term phosphorus removal
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Wastewater treatment by soil infiltration: Long-term phosphorus removal
2012 (English)In: Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, ISSN 0169-7722, E-ISSN 1873-6009, Vol. 140, 24-33 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Phosphorus (P) leaching from on-site wastewater treatment systems may contribute to eutrophication. In developed countries the most common on-site treatment technique is septic systems with soil infiltration. However, the current knowledge about long term P removal in soil treatment systems is not well developed and the data used for estimation of P losses from such systems are unreliable. In this study we sampled four filter beds from community-scale soil treatment systems with an age of between 14 and 22 years to determine the long-term P removal and to investigate the chemical mechanisms behind the observed removal. For one site the long-term P removal was calculated using a mass balance approach. After analysis of the accumulated P. it was estimated that on average 12% of the long-term P load had been removed by the bed material. This indicates a low overall capacity of soil treatment systems to remove phosphorus. Batch experiments and chemical speciation modelling indicated that calcium phosphate precipitation was not an important long-term P removal mechanism, with the possible exception of one of the sites. More likely, the P removal was induced by AlPO4 precipitation and/or sorption to poorly ordered aluminium compounds, as evidenced by strong relationships between oxalate-extractable Al and P.

Keyword
Soil infiltration, On site waste water treatment, Phosphorus removal, Adsorption, Precipitation
National Category
Soil Science Other Environmental Engineering Water Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-12046 (URN)10.1016/j.jconhyd.2012.08.003 (DOI)000310768800004 ()2-s2.0-84866040536 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2006-632
Note

QC 20121206. Updated from manuscript to article in journal.

Available from: 2010-02-25 Created: 2010-02-25 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved

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