Assessment of Struvite as an Alternative Sources of Fertilizer-Phosphorus for Flood-Irrigated Rice

Kristofor R. Brye, Niyi S. Omidire, Leah English, Ranjan Parajuli, Laszlo Kekedy-Nagy, Ruhi Sultana, Jennie Popp, Greg Thoma, Trenton L. Roberts, Lauren F. Greenlee

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4 Scopus citations


Phosphorus (P) recovery from wastewaters as struvite (MgNH4PO4·6H2O) may be a viable alternative fertilizer-P source for agriculture. The objective of this study was to evaluate the economic and environmental implications of struvite as a fertilizer-P source for flood-irrigated rice (Oryza sativa) relative to other commonly used commercially available fertilizer-P sources. A field study was conducted in 2019 and 2020 to evaluate the effects of wastewater-recovered struvite (chemically precipitated struvite (CPST) and electrochemically precipitated struvite (ECST)) on rice yield response in a P-deficient, silt–loam soil in eastern Arkansas relative to triple superphosphate, monoammonium and diammonium phosphate, and rock phosphate. A life cycle assessment methodology was used to estimate the global warming potentials associated with rice produced with the various fertilizer-P sources. Life cycle inventory data were based on the field trials conducted with and without struvite application for both years. A partial budget analysis showed that, across both years, net revenues for ECST and CPST were 1.4 to 26.8% lower than those associated with the other fertilizer-P sources. The estimated greenhouse gas emissions varied between 0.58 and 0.70 kg CO2 eq kg rice−1 from CPST and between 0.56 and 0.81 kg CO2 eq kg rice−1 from ECST in 2019 and 2020, respectively, which were numerically similar to those for the other fertilizer-P sources in 2019 and 2020. The similar rice responses compared to commercially available fertilizer-P sources suggest that wastewater-recovered struvite materials might be an alternative fertilizer-P-source option for flood-irrigated rice production if struvite can become price-competitive to other fertilizer-P sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9621
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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