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Chemical stabilisation of anaerobic digestate via wood ash-based treatment

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Chemical stabilisation of anaerobic digestate via wood ash-based treatment. / Moure Abelenda, Alejandro.

Lancaster University, 2022. 327 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Moure Abelenda A. Chemical stabilisation of anaerobic digestate via wood ash-based treatment. Lancaster University, 2022. 327 p. doi: 10.17635/lancaster/thesis/1691

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@phdthesis{b59bbba2d0944da08d4fe2567ce133c5,
title = "Chemical stabilisation of anaerobic digestate via wood ash-based treatment",
abstract = "The depletion of world´s mineral resources increases the cost of production of chemical fertilisers for agriculture, due to the need for extraction of raw materials in poorly accessible and inconvenient sites. An enhancement of the circular economy by means of reprocessing clean nutrient-rich waste materials will also address environmental challenges associated with the low use efficiency of the nutrients, which leads to pollution of water, soil and air due to the excessive fertilisation of fields to maintain crop yields and provide enough foodstuff. This thesis investigates the treatment of anaerobic digestate with wood ash and commercial acids (i.e. sulphuric, hydrochloric, nitric and lactic acids) for the preparation of a stable slow-released fertiliser and mineral products, such as ammonium sulphate. The extraction of the biogas from the anaerobic digestate implies the mineralisation of some organic nutrients (e.g. organic nitrogen; Norg), thus becoming more available for plants (e.g. formation of ammoniacal nitrogen; NH4+-N). The application of this material to land represents a problem due to the volatilisation of ammonia and leaching of nitrate (after nitrification of ammonium in the soil) and phosphate. The role of the wood ash as sorbent could be used to control the availability of the nutrients already present in the anaerobic digestate. Moreover, the wood ash provides additional phosphorus to generate a more balanced organic fertiliser, according to the type of crop. The investigation of the wood ash treatment of the anaerobic digestate under different pHs was necessary to find the best blending conditions of these two waste streams. A food waste digestate (FWD) and a post-harvest vegetable waste digestate (PVWD) were the two types of organic material considered. A wood fly ash (WFA) and a wood bottom ash (WBA) were the two types of sorbents employed and they were produced in the same combined heat and power plant. Among these samples, the best controlled-release soil organic amendment was found to be produced by blending the PVWD, which has a lower ratio NH4+-N/Norg, and the WFA, which is the finer fraction of the ashes with more black carbon content and surface area to enhance the sorption processes. The pH of zero charge of WFA (11.90 ± 0.50) was found to be the optimum and it could be attained by mild acidification with HCl, maintaining a blending ratio lower than 3 g total solids (TS) WFA/g TS FWD or using non-invasive H2SO4 acidification (i.e. closed chamber) to recover the NH3 volatilised. The solid-liquid separation of the blend of wood ash and anaerobic digestate was performed as part of the analyses of the availability of the nutrients (N, C and P). Nevertheless, a more detailed study needs to be conducted on whether this share of wood ash is enough to produce a granular fertiliser with sufficient mechanical properties (e.g. durability) for packaging commercialisation.",
keywords = "Ammonia stripping, Ammonia volatilisation, Ammonification, Anaerobic digestate, Chemical stabilisation, Closed chamber, Downstream processing, Green chemistry, Nutrient management, Organic soil amendment, Phosphate leaching, Process design, Process intensification, Sulphuric acid trap, Sustainability, Waste-derived fertiliser, Waste valorisation, Wood ash",
author = "{Moure Abelenda}, Alejandro",
year = "2022",
month = jul,
day = "8",
doi = "10.17635/lancaster/thesis/1691",
language = "English",
publisher = "Lancaster University",
school = "Lancaster University",

}

RIS

TY - THES

T1 - Chemical stabilisation of anaerobic digestate via wood ash-based treatment

AU - Moure Abelenda, Alejandro

PY - 2022/7/8

Y1 - 2022/7/8

N2 - The depletion of world´s mineral resources increases the cost of production of chemical fertilisers for agriculture, due to the need for extraction of raw materials in poorly accessible and inconvenient sites. An enhancement of the circular economy by means of reprocessing clean nutrient-rich waste materials will also address environmental challenges associated with the low use efficiency of the nutrients, which leads to pollution of water, soil and air due to the excessive fertilisation of fields to maintain crop yields and provide enough foodstuff. This thesis investigates the treatment of anaerobic digestate with wood ash and commercial acids (i.e. sulphuric, hydrochloric, nitric and lactic acids) for the preparation of a stable slow-released fertiliser and mineral products, such as ammonium sulphate. The extraction of the biogas from the anaerobic digestate implies the mineralisation of some organic nutrients (e.g. organic nitrogen; Norg), thus becoming more available for plants (e.g. formation of ammoniacal nitrogen; NH4+-N). The application of this material to land represents a problem due to the volatilisation of ammonia and leaching of nitrate (after nitrification of ammonium in the soil) and phosphate. The role of the wood ash as sorbent could be used to control the availability of the nutrients already present in the anaerobic digestate. Moreover, the wood ash provides additional phosphorus to generate a more balanced organic fertiliser, according to the type of crop. The investigation of the wood ash treatment of the anaerobic digestate under different pHs was necessary to find the best blending conditions of these two waste streams. A food waste digestate (FWD) and a post-harvest vegetable waste digestate (PVWD) were the two types of organic material considered. A wood fly ash (WFA) and a wood bottom ash (WBA) were the two types of sorbents employed and they were produced in the same combined heat and power plant. Among these samples, the best controlled-release soil organic amendment was found to be produced by blending the PVWD, which has a lower ratio NH4+-N/Norg, and the WFA, which is the finer fraction of the ashes with more black carbon content and surface area to enhance the sorption processes. The pH of zero charge of WFA (11.90 ± 0.50) was found to be the optimum and it could be attained by mild acidification with HCl, maintaining a blending ratio lower than 3 g total solids (TS) WFA/g TS FWD or using non-invasive H2SO4 acidification (i.e. closed chamber) to recover the NH3 volatilised. The solid-liquid separation of the blend of wood ash and anaerobic digestate was performed as part of the analyses of the availability of the nutrients (N, C and P). Nevertheless, a more detailed study needs to be conducted on whether this share of wood ash is enough to produce a granular fertiliser with sufficient mechanical properties (e.g. durability) for packaging commercialisation.

AB - The depletion of world´s mineral resources increases the cost of production of chemical fertilisers for agriculture, due to the need for extraction of raw materials in poorly accessible and inconvenient sites. An enhancement of the circular economy by means of reprocessing clean nutrient-rich waste materials will also address environmental challenges associated with the low use efficiency of the nutrients, which leads to pollution of water, soil and air due to the excessive fertilisation of fields to maintain crop yields and provide enough foodstuff. This thesis investigates the treatment of anaerobic digestate with wood ash and commercial acids (i.e. sulphuric, hydrochloric, nitric and lactic acids) for the preparation of a stable slow-released fertiliser and mineral products, such as ammonium sulphate. The extraction of the biogas from the anaerobic digestate implies the mineralisation of some organic nutrients (e.g. organic nitrogen; Norg), thus becoming more available for plants (e.g. formation of ammoniacal nitrogen; NH4+-N). The application of this material to land represents a problem due to the volatilisation of ammonia and leaching of nitrate (after nitrification of ammonium in the soil) and phosphate. The role of the wood ash as sorbent could be used to control the availability of the nutrients already present in the anaerobic digestate. Moreover, the wood ash provides additional phosphorus to generate a more balanced organic fertiliser, according to the type of crop. The investigation of the wood ash treatment of the anaerobic digestate under different pHs was necessary to find the best blending conditions of these two waste streams. A food waste digestate (FWD) and a post-harvest vegetable waste digestate (PVWD) were the two types of organic material considered. A wood fly ash (WFA) and a wood bottom ash (WBA) were the two types of sorbents employed and they were produced in the same combined heat and power plant. Among these samples, the best controlled-release soil organic amendment was found to be produced by blending the PVWD, which has a lower ratio NH4+-N/Norg, and the WFA, which is the finer fraction of the ashes with more black carbon content and surface area to enhance the sorption processes. The pH of zero charge of WFA (11.90 ± 0.50) was found to be the optimum and it could be attained by mild acidification with HCl, maintaining a blending ratio lower than 3 g total solids (TS) WFA/g TS FWD or using non-invasive H2SO4 acidification (i.e. closed chamber) to recover the NH3 volatilised. The solid-liquid separation of the blend of wood ash and anaerobic digestate was performed as part of the analyses of the availability of the nutrients (N, C and P). Nevertheless, a more detailed study needs to be conducted on whether this share of wood ash is enough to produce a granular fertiliser with sufficient mechanical properties (e.g. durability) for packaging commercialisation.

KW - Ammonia stripping

KW - Ammonia volatilisation

KW - Ammonification

KW - Anaerobic digestate

KW - Chemical stabilisation

KW - Closed chamber

KW - Downstream processing

KW - Green chemistry

KW - Nutrient management

KW - Organic soil amendment

KW - Phosphate leaching

KW - Process design

KW - Process intensification

KW - Sulphuric acid trap

KW - Sustainability

KW - Waste-derived fertiliser

KW - Waste valorisation

KW - Wood ash

U2 - 10.17635/lancaster/thesis/1691

DO - 10.17635/lancaster/thesis/1691

M3 - Doctoral Thesis

PB - Lancaster University

ER -