Effects of the Optimised pH and Molar Ratio on Struvite Precipitation in Aqueous System
1 Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Pembangunan Nasional “Veteran” Jatim, Surabaya 60294, Indonesia.
2 Department of Chemical Engineering, UNTAG University, Bendhan Dhuwur Campus, Semarang 50233, Indonesia.
3 Mechanical Engineering Graduate Program, Diponegoro University, Tembalang Kampus, Semarang 50275, Indonesia.
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Struvite (MgNH4PO4.6H2O) is one of phosphate minerals, commonly forms into aqueous solutions. It can be precipitated as mineral deposits for optimization of phosphate recovery based on the pH optimum, molar ratio and temperature levels. This paper presents results of a study on the struvite precipitation under the influence of pH variation, at optimized molar ratio and temperature, which were calculated from an experimental design methodology. Based on the methodology, a laboratory prepared struvite, made by mixing solutions to NH4OH, MgCl2 and H3PO4 for a molar ratio of 1: 2: 1 in a 500 mL volume of batch stirred crystallizer at room temperature. The crystallization was done at 200 rpm and the pH variation was adjusted to 8, 9 and 10 with KOH for a time of 70 minutes. The resulting crystals were filtered and dried at room temperature for 48 h and subsequently stored for further analysis. Material characterisasion of the crystals was conducted using XRPD Rietveld method of mineralogical composition. SEM equipped by EDX was employed for investigation of morphology and elemental composition of the crystals obtained. During the experiment, struvite crystals were firstly nucleated and subsequently developed at major value. The increase in pH is assumed to convert some of the struvite phase into struvite (K) and minor sylvite (KCl). It demonstrates that Visual MINTEQ can be employed to estimate the mineral formation out the synthetic solutions.
Key words: Crystallization / pH optimum / Struvite / Struvite (K) / XRPD Rietveld method
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