Speciation evolution and transformation mechanism of P during microwave hydrothermal process of sewage sludge

Yan Shi, Zheng Chen, Keliang Zhu, Jiajun Fan, James H. Clark, Gang Luo*, Shicheng Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Due to the global shortage of phosphate ore, sewage sludge is an important resource for P recovery. This study aims to investigate how P was migrated and transformed during the microwave hydrothermal (MHT) process of sewage sludge. The effects of MHT and hydrothermal (HT) conversion were compared. The results reveals that there were no significant differences on the P distribution and speciation changes between the HT and MHT products, especially under high hydrothermal temperature. Ortho-P/Pyro-P was the dominant P form in the hydrothermal solid products, and high temperature promoted the transformation of C-O-P to Ortho-P/Pyro-P. The analysis of X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) shows that Ca5(PO4)3OH was formed after the hydrothermal processes. The relative abundance of Ca-P decreased first and then increased with increasing hydrothermal temperature. Moderate MHT temperature (170 °C) and holding time (30–60 min) promoted the transformation of P to the liquid products. Generally, the effect of MHT temperature was more significant than that of heating type and holding time on the variations of P distribution and speciations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number152801
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Early online date2 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge the financial support provided by: Shanghai Sailing Program ( 21YF1401700 ). We also thank the staffs of 4B7A beamline of Beijing Synchrotron Radiation Facility for the data of P K-edge XANES.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.


  • Hydrothermal conversion
  • Microwave hydrothermal conversion
  • Phosphorus
  • Sewage sludge
  • X-ray absorption near edge structure

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