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From removal to recovery: An evaluation of nitrogen recovery techniques from wastewater
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5480-0167
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3485-5440
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5014-3275
2020 (English)In: Applied Energy, ISSN 0306-2619, E-ISSN 1872-9118, Vol. 263, article id 114616Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Nitrogen recovery is the next step in the improvement of the wastewater treatment process, utilizing this important nutrient for fertilizers to decrease use of energy, petrochemicals, and impact on the environment. The majority of wastewater treatment plants currently employ methods to remove nitrogen which are energy intensive and have no additional benefits besides complying with effluent concentration limits. Instead, recovering nitrogen allows simultaneous treatment of wastewater while collecting a concentrated ammonia product, creating a circular economy solution. This review acts to compile current research regarding nitrogen recovery and compare different techniques' recovery efficiencies and energy requirements. One outcome of this review is that more than one third of the techniques reviewed had little comments around the energy question, and thus more research needs to take place as these recovery systems continue to evolve towards full scale implementation. Additionally, a basic economic analysis was completed to demonstrate potential investment opportunities to implement these technologies. From this investigation, gas permeable membrane technology has the potential to recover ammonia from wastewater using little energy and may provide a small income with the sale of the product. Other techniques such as vacuum membrane distillation with acid absorption need further validation to determine the energy costs, as the amount of heat recycling has a great impact on the overall energy and economic balances. Finally, a discussion of the misalignment of products from recovery techniques and fertilizers in use today highlights the lack of communication and information sharing between the research community and the end users. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier Ltd , 2020. Vol. 263, article id 114616
Keywords [en]
Ammonia recovery, Circular economy, Energy requirements, Haber Bosch, Nitrogen recovery, Nutrient recovery, Ammonia, Distillation, Economic analysis, Effluent treatment, Effluents, Gas permeable membranes, Investments, Membrane technology, Nitrogen fertilizers, Nitrogen removal, Nutrients, Wastewater treatment, Recovery
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-47159DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2020.114616Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85079419020OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-47159DiVA, id: diva2:1397110
Note

Export Date: 27 February 2020; Review; CODEN: APEND; Correspondence Address: Thorin, E.; Mälardalen University, Högskoleplan 1, Sweden

Available from: 2020-02-27 Created: 2020-02-27 Last updated: 2020-02-27Bibliographically approved

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Odlare, MonicaThorin, EvaSchwede, Sebastian

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