Anaerobic-based processes are green and sustainable technologies for phosphorus (P) recovery from sewage sludges economically and are promising in practical application. However, the P release efficiency is always not satisfied. In this paper, the P release mechanisms (regarding to different P species) from sewage sludge using anaerobic-based processes are systematically summarized. The obstacles of P release and the updated achievements of enhancing P release from sewage sludges are analyzed and discussed. It can be concluded that different P species can release from sewage sludge via different anaerobic-based processes. Extracellular polymeric substances and excessive metal ions are the two main limiting factors to P release. Acid fermentation and anaerobic fermentation with sulfate reduction could be two promising ways, with P release efficiencies of up to 64% and 63%. Based on the summarization and discussion, perspectives on practical application of P recovery from sewage sludge using anaerobic-based processes are proposed.
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