Non-airtight Fermentation of Dairy Manure with Waste Potato Peels and Subsequent Phosphorus Recovery via Struvite Precipitation

  • Liang Wang
  • Lide ChenEmail author
  • Sarah Xiao Wu
  • Anilkumar Krosuri


Two-phase anaerobic co-digestion of lignocellulosic crop residues with animal wastes can efficiently generate more biogas compared with the digestion of animal waste alone. Non-airtight fermentation of the mixed substrates is the primary step to hydrolyze complex organics and achieve simultaneous phosphorus release. Recycling phosphorus from tremendous animal wastes is remarkably meaningful regarding non-renewable resource recovery. In this study, the feasibility of a two-step process combining non-airtight fermentation of potato peels with dairy manure and the following struvite precipitation was explored. The hydrolysis and acidification process of the 6-day non-airtight mesophilic fermentation lowered pH to 6.4 under the highest mixed solid content of 4.8%; meanwhile, the ratio of reactive phosphorus to total phosphorus increased from 49.6 to 93.7% accordingly. Struvite formation was successfully induced by adjusting pH to 8.0 and 9.5. Under these two pHs, the precipitates were dominated by struvite as characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD). Scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive spectrometry (SEM-EDS) results indicated that there should exist both struvite and calcium phosphate in the precipitates obtained under the two pHs. pH 8.0 precipitate should contain around 75% struvite, while the proportion rose to about 90% for pH 9.5 precipitate, based on the calculation of respective Mg/P and Ca/P molar ratios.


Non-airtight fermentation Potato peels Dairy manure Phosphorus Struvite 


Funding Information

This study is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education project-SW18-015, and USDA NIFA multi-state hatch project S-1074.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Soil and Water Systems, Twin Falls Research & Extension CenterUniversity of IdahoTwin FallsUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biological EngineeringUniversity of IdahoMoscowUSA
  3. 3.Environmental Science ProgramUniversity of IdahoMoscowUSA

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