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Wood Ash Based Treatment of Anaerobic Digestate: State-of-the-Art and Possibilities

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published
Article number147
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>11/01/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>Processes
Issue number1
Volume10
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

The problem of current agricultural practices is not limited to land management but also to the unsustainable consumption of essential nutrients for plants, such as phosphorus. This article focuses on the valorization of wood ash and anaerobic digestate for the preparation of a slow-release fertilizer. The underlying chemistry of the blend of these two materials is elucidated by analyzing the applications of the mixture. First, the feasibility of employing low doses (≤1 g total solids (TS) ash/g TS digestate) of wood ash is explained as a way to improve the composition of the feedstock of anaerobic digestion and enhance biogas production. Secondly, a detailed description concerning high doses of wood ash and their uses in the downstream processing of the anaerobic digestate to further enhance its stability is offered. Among all the physico-chemical phenomena involved, sorption processes are meticulously depicted, since they are responsible for nutrient recovery, dewatering, and self-hardening in preparing a granular fertilizer. Simple activation procedures (e.g., carbonization, carbonation, calcination, acidification, wash, milling, and sieving) are proposed to promote immobi- lization of the nutrients. Due to the limited information on the combined processing of wood ash and the anaerobic digestate, transformations of similar residues are additionally considered. Considering all the possible synergies in the anaerobic digestion and the downstream stages, a dose of ash of 5 g TS ash/g TS digestate is proposed for future experiments.