Enhancing nutrient recovery from food waste anaerobic digestate

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The study synthesised the raw liquid fraction of digested into a nutrient-rich solid digestate through acidification whilst preventing nitrogen loss through ammonium volatilisation during evaporation. To stabilise ammonium in the digestate, it was acidified with sulphuric, nitric, and phosphoric acid to produce solid digestate with ammonium sulfate, ammonium nitrate, and ammonium phosphate, respectively. These treatments were compared against urea ammonium nitrate, raw digestate, and unacidified solid digestate. To evaluate the effect of these transformed digestate products in soil, a plant growth experiment (Kikuyu; Cenchrus clandestine) was conducted, and characterised, plant growth, soil chemistry, and rhizosphere bacterial communities. Plant growth was enhanced by all digestate treatments compared to control and urea ammonium nitrate. Ammonium phosphate solid digestate plant growth was significantly higher than all other acidified treatments due to the high P content. Moreover, digestate-amended soil had elevated Proteobacteria and putative denitrification genes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number129869
JournalBioresource Technology
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

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