Effect of Iron Hydroxide on Phosphate Removal during Anaerobic Digestion of Activated Sludge

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The addition of iron (III) hydroxide during methanogenic digestion of activated sludge by anaerobic sludge displaying an iron-reducing activity resulted in a microbial reduction of iron (III) with the formation of iron (II), capable of precipitating phosphates. The feasibility of eliminating 66.6 to 99.6% of the dissolved phosphate at initial concentrations of 1000 to 3500 mg PO3−4/l by adding 6420 mg/l iron (III) hydroxide into a reactor for anaerobic fermentation of activated sludge was analyzed. The optimal ratio of iron (III) added to dissolved phosphate removed (mg) providing a 95% removal amounted to 2: 1. These results may be used in new technology for anaerobic wastewater treatment with phosphate removal.

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