Impact of sulphuric, hydrochloric, nitric, and lactic acids in the preparation of a blend of agro-industrial digestate and wood ash to produce a novel fertiliser

Moure Abelenda, Alejandro and Semple, Kirk and Lag Brotons, Alfonso and Aggidis, George and Herbert, Ben and Aiouache, Farid (2021) Impact of sulphuric, hydrochloric, nitric, and lactic acids in the preparation of a blend of agro-industrial digestate and wood ash to produce a novel fertiliser. Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, 9 (1): 105021. ISSN 2213-2929

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Anaerobic digestate is a waste product of biogas generation which is produced in large amounts and, because of its high water content, it is expensive to store, transport, and spread to land. Additionally, special conditions are required for land application to minimise the losses of nutrients. This material is primarily used as source of organic matter for soil while farmers continue to rely on NPK chemical fertilisers, which are produced using energy intensive processes. This work evaluated the use of low-pollutant biomass bottom ash as an adsorbent to decrease the availability and the losses of carbon and nutrients. A number of acidification conditions were tested to enhance the adsorption and to improve the dewaterability of the organic waste. The final blend was intended to have a more balanced nutrient profile and to offer better performance in terms of crop growth than the digestate alone. The severe acidifications of the digestate and ash using sulphuric, hydrochloric, nitric, and lactic acids increased more than twice the amount of ammonia which remained in the digestate-ash blend. Hydrochloric acid was found to be the best option for preparation of the ash as sorbent, before mixing with the digestate, and to promote dehydration of the blend to enhance solid-liquid separation. This acid did not reduce the number of active sites in the ash, to promote the chemical stabilisation of the digestate; the addition of the acidified ash reduced the pH below that of the digestate thereby reducing the volatilisation of NH3 from the blend.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, 9, 1, 2021 DOI: 10.1016/j.jece.2020.105021
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? waste-derived fertilizerammonia volatilisationabiotic denitrificationacidificationsorptionwaste management and disposalpollutionprocess chemistry and technologychemical engineering (miscellaneous) ??
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Deposited On:
13 Jan 2021 10:22
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2024 21:19