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Patent Analysis of

Extraction of amino acids and phosphorus from biological materials

Updated Time 12 June 2019

Patent Registration Data

Publication Number

US10150711

Application Number

US15/350283

Application Date

14 November 2016

Publication Date

11 December 2018

Current Assignee

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AS REPRESENTED BY THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE

Original Assignee (Applicant)

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AS REPRESENTED BY THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE

International Classification

C05B17/00,C07K1/14,C01B25/04

Cooperative Classification

C05B17/00,C07K1/145,C01B25/04

Inventor

VANOTTI, MATIAS B.,SZOGI, ARIEL A.

Patent Images

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US10150711 Extraction amino acids 1 US10150711 Extraction amino acids 2
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Abstract

A system and method for separating nutrients, such as phosphorus and protein, from biological materials may be disclosed. Biological material, for example in the form of wet solids from raw manure, may first be separated out by a solid-liquid separator. The wet solids may then be dissolved in an acidic solution. The resulting supernatant from the acidic treatment may then be separated and phosphorus reclaimed therefrom. The resulting precipitate from the acidic treatment may be separated from the supernatant and treated with a basic solution. The resulting supernatant following the basic treatment may then be separated and protein reclaimed therefrom. In some embodiments, the supernatant resulting from the acidic treatment may itself be alkalinized, creating a precipitate which contains phosphorus solids and a supernatant which can be separated from the phosphorus solids and used as the basic solution with which to treat the precipitate resulting from the acidic treatment. Further, the system may be used to extract phosphorus and proteins from other biological materials, such as algae or crops.

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Claims

1. A method for separating phosphorus and protein from biological materials, comprising:

conducting an acid extraction by adding an acidic solution to a biological material and mixing the acidic solution with the biological material to produce an acidic supernatant and an acidic precipitate; separating the acidic supernatant from the acidic precipitate; conducting a protein extraction by adding an alkaline solution to the acidic precipitate and mixing the alkaline solution with the acidic precipitate to produce a basic supernatant and a basic precipitate; separating the basic supernatant from the basic precipitate; and recovering an amount of phosphorus from the acidic supernatant and recovering an amount of protein from the basic supernatant.

2. The method according to claim 1, wherein the biological material is one of animal waste, plant material, algae cells, or a combination thereof.

3. The method according to claim 1, wherein the acidic solution comprises an acid and water.

4. The method according to claim 3, wherein the acid is one of HCl, H2SO4, HNO3, H3PO4, citric acid, oxalic acid, malic acid, fumaric acid, lactic acid, EDTA, and a mixture thereof.

5. The method according to claim 3, wherein the acid is present in a concentration of about 0.05 M to about 1.5 M.

6. The method according to claim 1, wherein the biological material is hydrated.

7. The method according to claim 1, wherein the ratio of the amount of acidic solution to the amount of biological material is between about 5 mL:1 g to 20 mL:1 g, based on a dry weight of the biological material.

8. The method according to claim 1, wherein the acid extraction is conducted at a pH in the range of between about 0.1 and about 6.

9. The method according to claim 1, wherein the alkaline solution comprises a base and water.

10. The method according to claim 9, wherein the base is one of NaOH, Ca(OH)2, KOH, Mg(OH)2, and a combination thereof.

11. The method according to claim 9, wherein the base is present in a concentration of about 0.1 M to about 1.0 M.

12. The method according to claim 1, wherein the ratio of the amount of alkaline solution to the amount of biological material is between about 5 mL:1 g to 20 mL:1 g, based on a dry weight of the biological material.

13. The method according to claim 1, wherein the protein extraction is conducted at a pH in the range of between about 11 and about 14.

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Claim Tree

  • 1
    1. A method for separating phosphorus and protein from biological materials, comprising:
    • conducting an acid extraction by adding an acidic solution to a biological material and mixing the acidic solution with the biological material to produce an acidic supernatant and an acidic precipitate
    • separating the acidic supernatant from the acidic precipitate
    • conducting a protein extraction by adding an alkaline solution to the acidic precipitate and mixing the alkaline solution with the acidic precipitate to produce a basic supernatant and a basic precipitate
    • separating the basic supernatant from the basic precipitate
    • and recovering an amount of phosphorus from the acidic supernatant and recovering an amount of protein from the basic supernatant.
    • 2. The method according to claim 1, wherein
      • the biological material is one of animal waste, plant material, algae cells, or a combination thereof.
    • 3. The method according to claim 1, wherein
      • the acidic solution comprises
    • 6. The method according to claim 1, wherein
      • the biological material is hydrated.
    • 7. The method according to claim 1, wherein
      • the ratio of the amount of acidic solution to the amount of biological material is between about 5 mL:1 g to 20 mL:1 g, based on a dry weight of the biological material.
    • 8. The method according to claim 1, wherein
      • the acid extraction is conducted at a pH in the range of between about 0.1 and about 6.
    • 9. The method according to claim 1, wherein
      • the alkaline solution comprises
    • 12. The method according to claim 1, wherein
      • the ratio of the amount of alkaline solution to the amount of biological material is between about 5 mL:1 g to 20 mL:1 g, based on a dry weight of the biological material.
    • 13. The method according to claim 1, wherein
      • the protein extraction is conducted at a pH in the range of between about 11 and about 14.
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Description

BACKGROUND

This invention relates to systems and methods for extracting and recovering amino acids and phosphorus from animal and municipal wastes.

Municipal and agricultural waste disposal is a major problem. Feedlots, animal barns, agro-industrial plants, municipal sewage, and farms that keep large numbers of animals are sources of enormous quantities of organic waste. The disposal of untreated organic waste causes serious pollution problems which include those tied to the wastes' high content of chemically oxidizable components, expressed as COD or chemical oxygen demand, and BOD, biological or biochemical oxygen demand. When these pollutants reach bodies of water, either because they leach from disposal sites or as a consequence of being directly released or transported into water bodies, they deoxygenate the receiving waters and impair the receiving waters' capability to support aquatic life.

Acidity and high pathogen content add to the COD and BOD problems of untreated waste disposal. Acrid gases released into the atmosphere are not only unpleasant but they can also contribute to acid deposition, global greenhouse effects, and ozone depletion.

For agricultural animals, the animals are confined in high densities and lack functional and sustainable waste treatment systems. The liquid wastes are generally treated in large anaerobic lagoons with intermittent disposal through land applications (Stith, P. and Warrick, J., Boss Hog, North Carolina's pork revolution, The News & Observer, 1-3, February ‘9-26, 1995; USEPA, Proposed regulations to address water pollution from concentrated animal feeding operations, EPA 833-F-00-016, January 2001, Office of Water, Washington, D.C., 20460). This system was developed in the early and mid-20th century prior to the current trend in high concentrated livestock operations. However, one of the problems with this approach is that recently there has been a push to reclaim nutrients from the manure for use as fertilizer, and the current approach is not sufficiently conducive to such a reclamation effort. In addition, when manure is stored in lagoons, runoff and leakage can detrimentally affect the water quality of rivers, lakes, and groundwater.

In particular, the recovery of phosphorus and proteins from manure could be advantageous to both offset costs and to improve and lessen the environmental impacts of manure storage and treatment. Phosphorous in manure can contaminate rivers, lakes, and bays through runoff, if applied onto a cropland excessively. Thus, recovering phosphorous from manure can not only help reduce such runoffs, but also reduces the use of commercial fertilizer based on phosphate rock. The phosphorus mine has limited reserves and cannot be replaced by other means as fertilizer. Protein is a natural resource used in a wide range of commercial applications from pharmaceuticals to dietary supplements, foods, feeds, and industrial applications.

All of the references cited herein, including U.S. patents and U.S. patent application Publications, are incorporated by reference in their entirety.

SUMMARY

According to at least one embodiment, a system and method for separating nutrients from biological materials may be disclosed. Biological material, for example in the form of wet solids from raw manure, may first be separated out by a solid-liquid separator. The wet solids may then be dissolved in an acidic solution. The resulting supernatant from the acidic treatment may then be separated and phosphorus reclaimed therefrom. The resulting precipitate from the acidic treatment may be separated from the supernatant and treated with a basic solution. The resulting supernatant following the basic treatment may then be separated and protein reclaimed therefrom. In some embodiments, the supernatant resulting from the acidic treatment may itself be alkalinized, creating a precipitate which contains phosphorus solids and a supernatant which can be separated from the phosphorus solids and used as the basic solution with which to treat the precipitate resulting from the acidic treatment. Further, the system may be used to extract phosphorus and proteins from other biological materials, such as algae or crops.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

Advantages of embodiments of the present invention will be apparent from the following detailed description of the exemplary embodiments. The following detailed description should be considered in conjunction with the accompanying figures in which:

Exemplary FIG. 1 shows an exemplary method of extracting phosphorus and protein from biological materials according to the present invention using a two-step process.

Exemplary FIG. 2 shows an exemplary method of extracting phosphorus and protein from biological materials according to the present invention using a modified two-step process.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Aspects of the invention are disclosed in the following description and related drawings directed to specific embodiments of the invention. Alternate embodiments may be devised without departing from the spirit or the scope of the invention. Additionally, well-known elements of exemplary embodiments of the invention will not be described in detail or will be omitted so as not to obscure the relevant details of the invention. Further, to facilitate an understanding of the description discussion of several terms used herein follows.

As used herein, the word “exemplary” means “serving as an example, instance or illustration.” The embodiments described herein are not limiting, but rather are exemplary only. It should be understood that the described embodiment are not necessarily to be construed as preferred or advantageous over other embodiments. Moreover, the terms “embodiments of the invention”, “embodiments” or “invention” do not require that all embodiments of the invention include the discussed feature, advantage or mode of operation.

Unless defined otherwise, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which the invention belongs. As used herein, the term “about” refers to a quantity, level, value, or amount that varies by as much as 30%, preferably by as much as 20%, and more preferably by as much as 10% to a reference quantity, level, value, or amount. Although any methods and materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can be used in the practice or testing of the present invention, the preferred methods and materials are now described.

“Biological material” means organic matter present or produced in a living organism. Non-limiting examples of biological materials include biomass from dead animals, animal waste, such as manure, biomass from dead plants, material cut off or grown by a living plant, and material derived directly from algae and bacteria, including bacterial and algae cells.

Other compounds may be added or used in the method provided they do not substantially interfere with the intended activity and efficacy of the method; whether or not a compound interferes with activity and/or efficacy can be determined, for example, by the procedures utilized below.

The amounts, percentages, and ranges disclosed herein are not meant to be limiting, and increments between the recited amounts, percentages, and ranges are specifically envisioned as part of the invention.

According to at least one embodiment, a system and method for separating nutrients from biological materials may be disclosed. Biological material, for example in the form of wet solids from raw manure, may first be separated out by a solid-liquid separator. The wet solids may then be dissolved in an acidic solution. The resulting supernatant from the acidic treatment may then be separated and phosphorus reclaimed therefrom. The resulting precipitate from the acidic treatment may be separated from the supernatant and treated with a basic solution. The resulting supernatant following the basic treatment may then be separated and protein reclaimed therefrom. In some embodiments, the supernatant resulting from the acidic treatment may itself be alkalinized, creating a precipitate which contains phosphorus solids and a supernatant which can be separated from the phosphorus solids and used as the basic solution with which to treat the precipitate resulting from the acidic treatment. Further, the system may be used to extract phosphorus and proteins from other biological materials, such as algae or crops.

Exemplary FIG. 1 shows an exemplary method for carrying out the present invention. Biological material may have an acidic solution added to it. After mixing, an acidic supernatant and acidic precipitate may be produced. Centrifuging may be used to easily separate the acidic supernatant from the acidic precipitate. Phosphorus recovery can then be completed from the acidic supernatant. The acidic precipitate may be mixed with an alkaline solution to produce a basic supernatant and basic precipitate. Centrifuging may be used to easily separate the basic supernatant from the basic precipitate. Protein recovery can then be completed from the basic supernatant and the basic precipitate may be disposed of.

Exemplary FIG. 2 shows a second method for carrying out the present invention. Biological material may have an acidic solution added to it. After mixing, an acidic supernatant and acidic precipitate may be produced. Centrifuging may be used to easily separate the acidic supernatant from the acidic precipitate. A precipitating composition may be added to the acidic supernatant to cause a phosphorus-containing solid to precipitate. Centrifugation may then be used to separate a phosphorus-containing precipitate may from a second supernatant (labelled “Supernatant 2” in FIG. 2). The acidic precipitate may then be mixed with the second supernatant and an alkaline solution to produce a basic supernatant and a basic precipitate. Centrifuging may be used to easily separate the basic supernatant from the basic precipitate. Protein recovery can then be completed from the basic supernatant and the basic precipitate may be disposed of.

In the present invention, the biological material is not particularly limited. Examples of biological material may be animal waste such as manure, plant material such as ground and hydrated meal, and (re-)hydrated algae cells. It may be preferable for the biological material to be hydrated or wet prior to the initial acid extraction step.

The acid used in the acidic solution in the acid extraction step may be any suitable acid. Preferably, the acid is suitable for selectively precipitating proteins while keeping phosphorus in solution. Examples of acids useful in the present invention are mineral acids such as hydrochloric acid (HCl), sulfuric acid (H2SO4), nitric acid (HNO3), and phosphoric acid (H3PO4), organic acids such as citric acid, oxalic acid, malic acid, fumaric acid, lactic acid, and EDTA, and mixtures thereof. The concentration of acid in the acidic solution may be from about 0.05 M to about 1.5 M. The acidic solution (solvent) may be added to the biological material in a ratio of 5 mL solvent per 1 g biological material to 20 mL solvent per 1 g biological material. Ratios of solvent to biological material use the equivalent dry weight of the biological material. For example, 5 g of wet manure may only contain 1 g of manure once dried. Thus, adding 10 mL of solvent to 5 g of wet manure may be exemplary of a 10 mL solvent:1 g manure (dry basis) ratio. The pH of the resulting mixture of acidic solution and biological material (process pH) may be from about 0.1 to about 6. Preferably, the pH may be from about 1 to less than 5.

The base used in the alkaline solution in the protein extraction step may be any suitable base. Preferably, the base is suitable for solubilizing proteins. Examples of bases which may be used in the present invention are sodium hydroxide (NaOH), calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)2), potassium hydroxide (KOH), magnesium hydroxide (Mg(OH)2), or a mixture thereof. The concentration of base in the alkaline solution may be from about 0.1 M to about 1.0 M. The alkaline solution (solvent) may be added to the biological material in a ratio of 5 mL solvent per 1 g biological material to 20 mL solvent per 1 g biological material. Ratios of solvent to biological material use the equivalent dry weight of the biological material. For example, 5 g of wet manure may only contain 1 g of manure once dried. Thus, adding 10 mL of solvent to 5 g of wet manure may be exemplary of a 10 mL solvent:1 g manure (dry basis) ratio. The pH of the resulting mixture of alkaline solution and biological material (process pH) may be adjusted depending on the precipitating composition used, and may range from about 5 to about 14.

As stated above, a precipitating composition may be used in the present invention in an intermediary step. The precipitating composition may include one or more bases, such as those described above, a salt, and/or a flocculant. The salt may be any suitable salt. An example of a suitable salt may be calcium chloride (CaCl2), magnesium chloride (MgCl2), ferric chloride (FeCl3), ferrous chloride (FeCl2), aluminum chloride (AlCl3), or a suitable mixture thereof. Further, the composition of the base(s) and/or salt(s) may be adjusted to control a ratio between the amount of the metal component of the salt (M) and phosphorus (P) in the mixture (M:P). The M:P ratio in the mixture may be between 0:1 and 3:1. Preferably, the M:P ratio may be between about 1:1 and about 2:1. For example, in the case of CaCl2 being used as the salt, a Ca:P ratio of about 1.3 may be used. As stated above, the pH of the mixture of alkaline solution and biological material (process pH) may be adjusted depending on the precipitating composition used. For example, in the case of a calcium- or magnesium-containing salt, a pH of from about 11 to about 14. Preferably, the pH may be between 12 and 13. However, in the case of an iron-containing salt, the pH may preferably be between about 6.5 and about 7.5, and in the case of an aluminum-containing salt, the pH may preferably be between about 5 and about 7.

Flocculants may be used in the present invention to assist with separation of solids from liquid components of mixtures. For example, animal waste may be subjected to flocculation prior to the initial acid extraction step. Further, flocculation may be used to concentrate and precipitate one or both of phosphorus and proteins from the acidic and basic supernatants, respectively.

A method according to the present invention may involve one or more separations of centrifuged supernatants and precipitates. After initial separation of a supernatant and a precipitate, the precipitate may be washed, for example with water, to remove any latent supernatant. The resulting wash may then be added to the supernatant. Rinsing of the precipitate in this manner may be used any time a supernatant is separated from a precipitate. Rinsing may thus assist in more effectively separating the components dissolved in the supernatant from those in the precipitate and thus enhance separate recovery of nutrients.

Recovery of phosphorus and proteins from the acidic and basic supernatants, respectively, may be achieved through any suitable process. Separation of proteins may, for example be accomplished using ultra-filtration and freeze drying, acidic precipitation, and/or flocculation-assisted precipitation. According to at least one embodiment, the basic supernatant may be treated with an acid to bring the pH to below 6 to achieve acidic precipitation. According to another embodiment, the basic supernatant may be treated with a flocculant and with an acid to bring the pH to 4-4.5 to achieve flocculation and acidic precipitation of the protein. Preferably, the pH for acidic-assisted flocculation may be between about 4.2 and about 4.4.

Mixing methods in the present invention may involve any suitable and known mixing methods. For example, magnetic stirring rods, shakers, shaking tables, and/or dispersers may be used in the present invention. To assist with controlling foaming in mixing, a defoaming agent may be added to the mixture being mixed. For example, a defoamer or defoaming agent may be added when a disperser is used.

Separation of supernatants and precipitates may be accomplished by any known means. For example, centrifugation may be used to concentrate precipitates, as is known in the art. Other methods such as filtration, or any other suitable method may also be used.

Further illustration of the invention, its use, and its capabilities may be found in the following Examples:

Processing Manure with Alkaline Solution Only

One method for extracting potential nutrients from biological materials is to treat manure with an alkaline solution. Specifically, wet separated manure solids were mixed with an alkaline solvent in a ratio of 20 mL solvent:1 g manure. The alkaline solvent used was an aqueous solution of NaOH, and the molarity of NaOH in the solvent was varied from 0.025 M to 0.200 M. The wet solids and alkaline solvent were mixed using a magnetic stirrer and disperser (IKA T-18 Ultra Turrax) for 20 minutes and 10 minutes, respectively. The mixture was then centrifuged, and the resulting supernatant was analyzed for recoveries. The amount of protein recovered was determined by the Bradford method. The amount of phosphorus was determined using an Autoanalyzer.

The results are shown in Table 1 below:


TABLE 1
% phosphorus
Solvent concentration
% protein
included with
of NaOH (M)
Process pH
recovery
protein1
0.025
9.5
33.5
10.0
0.050
10.2
34.4
10.7
0.075
11.0
37.2
15.5
0.100
12.0
49.0
17.0
0.125
12.4
71.4
33.5
0.150
12.7
83.2
44.1
0.175
12.9
91.0
42.8
0.200
13.0
100.5
45.7
1Represents the percent phosphorus compared to the total phosphorus in the original manure which was mixed in with the recovered protein.

As shown in Table 1, a higher concentration of NaOH, and thus higher process pH, leads to a higher recovery of protein. However, similarly as the solvent becomes more alkaline, a greater amount of phosphorus becomes included with the recovered protein. Thus, the above method may not be preferable as it does not lead to an efficient recovery and separation of both protein and phosphorus.

Processing Manure with Acidic and Alkaline Solutions

A second method to extract potential nutrients from biological materials is to treat wet manure first with an acidic solution and then after removing the supernatant, treating the resulting precipitate with an alkaline solution. According to this method, acidic solutions were prepared with both HCl and citric acid, with molarities of the dissolved acids ranging from about 0.2 to 0.6 to obtain a range of working pHs. In the first step, wet manure solids were mixed with the acidic solution, such as through methods including a magnetic stirrer and disperser as discussed above. The solvent/manure ratio used was 10 mL solvent:1 g manure. The mixture was then centrifuged, and the supernatant (“acidic supernatant”) was separated from the precipitate (“acidic precipitate”). The acidic precipitate was then mixed with an alkaline solution (NaOH, 0.2 M) using the same method as above and centrifuged. The solvent/manure ratio used was 10 mL solvent:1 g manure. The resulting supernatant (“basic supernatant”) was separated from the precipitate (“basic precipitate”). The acidic supernatant and basic supernatant were each individually analyzed for recoveries of protein and phosphorus (P).

The results are shown in Table 2 below:


TABLE 2
pH of
pH of
%
%
first
second
% P1
% P
Protein1
Protein
Acid
step
step
in AS2
in BS1
in AS
in BS
HCl
5.56
12.83
58.5
32.6
2.5
100
HCl
3.80
12.80
86.8
26.2
4.2
100
HCl
2.01
12.74
100.0
18.1
4.2
100
HCl
0.98
12.64
99.6
16.8
6.4
100
Citric
3.83
12.94
97.4
15.7
4.7
100
Citric
3.39
12.89
94.2
15.8
3.8
100
Citric
3.11
12.80
95.0
13.6
4.0
97.9
Citric
2.75
12.36
94.5
11.3
4.4
84.7
1% P and % Protein both refer to percentage recovery of each nutrient compared to the amount of nutrient in the original manure. The original manure contained 17.4% proteins and 2.69% P.
2“AS” and “BS” refer to acidic supernatant and basic supernatant, respectively.

Selectivity of NaOH Versus Ca(OH)2

In a variant of the first method above, Ca(OH)2 was substituted for NaOH to determine if the type of base had any effect on the results. Wet manure was mixed with the alkaline solvent. The alkaline solvent used was an aqueous solution of NaOH and/or Ca(OH)2 in various proportions and the total molarity of bases in the solvent was kept constant at 0.67 M. The solvent/manure ratio used was 6 mL solvent:1 g manure (dry basis). The wet solids and alkaline solvent were mixed and centrifuged as described above, and the resulting supernatant was analyzed for recoveries.

The results are shown in Table 3 below:


TABLE 3
NaOH, M
Ca(OH)2, M
Total M
Process pH
% Protein1
0.67
0.00
0.67
12.66
96.0
0.50
0.17
0.67
12.49
79.3
0.33
0.33
0.67
12.55
71.3
0.17
0.50
0.67
12.36
55.8
0.00
0.67
0.67
12.23
25.3
1Refers to percentage recovery of protein compared to the amount in the original manure.

Processing Manure with Acidic and Alkaline Solutions

To determine optimal conditions for the simultaneous extraction of protein and phosphorus from biological materials according to the present invention, several treatments (TRTs) were conducted to change different variables and study their effects. An initial determination was also made concerning the relative amounts of amino acids in the starting material, which was wet manure. The composition (% w/w) of amino acids relative to the total (dry) weight of the manure used in this experiment were alanine (1.09%); arginine (0.65%); asparagine and aspartic acid (1.51%); cysteic acid (0.31%); glutamine and glutamic acid (1.69%); glycine (0.88%); histidine (0.37%); isoleucine (0.89%); leucine (1.45%); lysine (0.89%); methionine sulfone (0.36%); phenylalanine (0.89%); proline (0.72%); serine (0.65%); threonine (0.78%); tryptophan (0.37%); tyrosine (0.76%); and valine (0.97%), for a total protein content of 15.17% (w/w).

TRT 1 was similar to the first method described above. An alkaline solution (0.4 N NaOH) was mixed with wet manure (10 mL:1 g ratio, dry manure basis) via mixing and dispersing. The mixture was centrifuged and the percent protein recovered in the supernatant was determined.

TRT 2 was similar to the second method described above. In the first step (acid extraction), the acidic solution (citric acid, 0.2 M) was mixed with wet manure (10 mL:1 g ratio, dry manure basis) via mixing and dispersing. The mixture was centrifuged to obtain an acidic supernatant and acidic precipitate. In the second step (protein extraction), the acidic precipitate was mixed with the alkaline solution (NaOH, 0.6 N) via mixing and dispersing. The mixture was centrifuged to obtain a basic supernatant and basic precipitate. The acidic supernatant was then analyzed for phosphorus recovery and the basic supernatant was analyzed for protein recovery.

TRT 3 was conducted in the exact same manner as TRT 2, except that the alkaline solution was NaOH, 0.4 N.

TRT4 involved first conducting an acid extraction by mixing an acidic solution (citric acid, 0.2 M) with wet manure (10 mL:1 g ratio, dry manure basis) as described above in the amounts of 20 mL of acidic solution and 2 g (dry basis) of manure, and then centrifuged to obtain a first supernatant (the acidic supernatant) and acidic precipitate. Then a phosphorus precipitation was conducted by adding a precipitating composition to the acidic supernatant. The precipitating composition was 2.75 mL of 4 N NaOHaq and 0.1648 g CaCl2. The amount of CaCl2 added meant that there was about a 1:1 molar ratio of Ca:P in the resulting solution. In addition, 1 mL of 0.5% flocculant was added to assist with the phosphorus precipitation. The resulting mixture was mixed and then centrifuged to obtain a phosphorus-containing precipitate and a second supernatant. The second supernatant was then mixed with the acidic precipitate and an alkaline solution (NaOH 0.4) to conduct a protein extraction. The mixture was mixed and centrifuged to obtain a third supernatant (basic supernatant) and a basic precipitate. The phosphorus-containing precipitate and the third supernatant were then analyzed for phosphorus and protein recoveries, respectively.

TRT 5 was the same as TRT 4, except that the amount of CaCl2 added in the phosphorus precipitation was 0.3296 to double the Ca:P ratio to about 2:1.

TRT 6 was the same as TRT 4, except that the acidic solution in the acid extraction was 0.117 M citric acid and the amount of 4 N NaOH in the precipitating composition was 2 mL.

TRT 7 was the same as TRT 6, except that the amount of CaCl2 added in the phosphorus precipitation was 0.3296 to double the Ca:P ratio to about 2:1.

TRT 8 was the same as TRT 4, except that the precipitating composition was only 2 mL of 14.8% Ca(OH)2 thus providing a Ca:P molar ratio of 2.69:1, only 0.5 mL of flocculant was used in the phosphorus precipitation, and the alkaline solution used in the protein extraction was 0.6 N NaOH.

TRT 9 was the same as TRT 8, except that no flocculant was used.

TRT 10 was the same as TRT 6, except that the precipitating composition was only 1 mL of 14.8% Ca(OH)2 thus providing a Ca:P molar ratio of 1.35:1, and only 0.5 mL of flocculant was used in the phosphorus precipitation.

TRT 11 was the same as TRT 10, except that no flocculant was used.

The results of the above treatments (TRTs) 1-11 are shown in Table 4 below:


TABLE 4
Phosphorus precipitation
Recoveries
Acid
4N
14.8%
Ca:P
0.5%
Protein
%
Extraction
NaOH
CaCl2
Ca(OH)2
molar
flocculant
Extraction
% P
Protein
TRT
pH
(mL)
(g)
(mL)
ratio
(mL)
pH
pH
recovery
recovery
1
12.40
132.6
2
3.83
12.77
90.6
136.1
3
3.84
12.41
84.8
116.2
4
3.77
2.75
0.1648
0
  1:1
1
12.27
12.51
87.7
105.1
5
3.72
2.75
0.3296
0
  2:1
1
12.35
12.32
87.7
89.4
6
4.77
2
0.1648
0
  1:1
1
12.50
12.97
107.2
123.8
7
4.70
2
0.3296
0
  2:1
1
12.25
12.88
100.5
123.1
8
3.80
0
0
2
2.69:1
0.5
8.75
12.64
87.7
78.8
9
3.84
0
0
2
2.69:1
0
8.99
12.69
87.7
93.7
10
4.77
0
0
1
1.35:1
0.5
8.94
12.51
104.0
88.4
11
4.69
0
0
1
1.35:1
0
8.92
12.31
113.6
98.2

Concentration of Protein in Basic Supernatant

Exemplary embodiments of the invention may include the concentration and precipitation of protein in the basic supernatant using acid and/or a flocculant to ease in the recovery of the protein component. To study this, wet manure was first subjected to an acid extraction using 0.33 M citric acid in a 6 mL:1 g solvent:dry manure basis. The resulting acidic precipitate was then subjected to a protein extraction using 0.668 N NaOH. The resulting basic supernatant was the protein solution used in this study.

The protein solution was first acidified to a pH of 5.5 through the addition of HCl. A portion of this mixture was then centrifuged to determine the results of acid-only precipitation. Two other portions were each treated with flocculant (Magnafloc 120L, BASF Corp.) in amounts of 120 mg/L and 180 mg/L, respectively. HCl was then added to the flocculant-treated portions to bring the pH further down to 4.4 where flocculation and precipitation was observed. The mixtures were then centrifuged to determine the results of flocculant-assisted precipitation.

The results are shown in Table 5 below:


TABLE 5
protein
concentration
Protein
solution pH
(g/L)
precipitation
Treatment
Initial1
Final
Initial
Final
efficiency (%)
Acid and no
11.9
5.5
8.14
1.98
75.6
flocculant
Acid and 120 mg/L
11.9
4.4
8.14
1.62
80.1
flocculant
Acid and 180 mg/L
11.9
4.4
8.14
0.66
91.8
flocculant
1This is the starting pH of the protein solution prior to the addition of HCl.

In addition, it was found that flocculation only occurred in a narrow pH band of 4.2-4.4. Solutions with a pH of less than 4 caused the flocs to disappear (redissolve).

Processing Other Biological Materials

Soybean meal and spirulina algae were both subjected to acid and alkaline extractions as described below:

Soybean meal for animal feed was obtained from Elgin Feed and Gardens (SC). First an acid extraction was conducted by mixing the meal with an acidic solution (HCl or citric acid, 0.4 M-1.2 M) in a solvent to meal ratio of 10 mL solvent:1 g meal. The mixture was mixed and centrifuged to obtain an acidic supernatant and acidic precipitate. The acidic precipitate was treated with an alkaline solution (NaOH) to conduct the protein extraction. The mixture was mixed and centrifuged to obtain a basic precipitate and basic supernatant. The acidic supernatant and basic supernatant were analyzed for phosphorus and protein recoveries, respectively.

Dried spirulina algae was first hydrated with water overnight. Then an acid extraction was conducted by mixing the hydrated algae with acidic solution (HCl or citric acid, 0.05 M-1.2 M) in a solvent to meal ratio of 10 mL solvent:1 g dry algae. The mixture was mixed and centrifuged to obtain an acidic supernatant and acidic precipitate. The acidic precipitate was treated with an alkaline solution (NaOH) to conduct the protein extraction. 0.6 mL of a defoamer solution was also added to the mixture. The mixture was mixed and centrifuged to obtain a basic precipitate and basic supernatant. The acidic supernatant and basic supernatant were analyzed for phosphorus and protein recoveries, respectively.

The results are shown in Table 6 below:


TABLE 6
Phosphorus recovery
Protein recovery
Starting
% P
% protein
material
Acid type
pH
recovered
pH
recovered
Soybean
Citric
2.53
19.0
12.77
74.0
meal
Soybean
Citric
2.13
19.4
12.81
64.7
meal
Soybean
Citric
1.88
22.9
12.79
46.4
meal
Soybean
HCl
0.80
73.6
12.94
85.3
meal
Soybean
HCl
0.38
86.1
12.94
95.7
meal
Soybean
HCl
0.17
92.0
12.85
88.2
meal
Algae
Citric
4.2
75.7
12.94
82.9
Algae
Citric
3.61
88.9
12.75
86.1
Algae
Citric
3.08
87.1
12.84
103.5
Algae
Citric
2.60
82.6
12.83
98.4
Algae
Citric
2.33
74.0
12.70
83.0
Algae
Citric
2.07
76.6
12.90
76.2
Algae
HCl
3.59
93.0
12.94
77.3
Algae
HCl
1.87
87.2
12.72
79.8
Algae
HCl
0.84
81.1
12.78
71.1
Algae
HCl
0.51
70.3
12.97
94.4
Algae
HCl
0.31
80.2
13.06
96.0

The foregoing description and accompanying figures illustrate the principles, preferred embodiments and modes of operation of the invention. However, the invention should not be construed as being limited to the particular embodiments discussed above. Additional variations of the embodiments discussed above will be appreciated by those skilled in the art.

Therefore, the above-described embodiments should be regarded as illustrative rather than restrictive. Accordingly, it should be appreciated that variations to those embodiments can be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the following claims.

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