Electrochemically-assisted ammonia recovery from wastewater using a floating electrode

Tim Muster, Johannes Jermakka

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)


    A novel methodology for the removal and recovery of NH3 from wastewater based upon electrochemical oxidation and a previously unreported electrochemically-assisted surface transfer mechanism is introduced. Recovery of NH3 is done by placing a porous cathodic electrode at the wastewater-air interface wherein the cathode creates local alkalinity and an electric field that draws ammonium ions towards the wastewater-air interface resulting in near-linear reductions of dissolved ammonium irrespective of concentration. This methodology resulted in great NH3 recovery without the need for ion-exchange membranes. Also anodic reactions that simultaneously occur at depth in the wastewater induced NH3 oxidation in accordance with proven mechanisms. The floating electrode approach offers improved NH3 removal efficiency in comparison to electrooxidation. Trials conducted on synthetic wastewater and filtered anaerobic centrate demonstrated decreased NH3 concentration up to 216 mg/l-hr and 110 mg/l-hr respectively under 5 mA/cm2 current density. The technology would be best used to treat municipal and industrial wastewaters possessing high NH3 concentration.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1804-1811
    JournalWater Science and Technology
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • air-stripping
    • ammonia recovery
    • electrochemical nutrient removal
    • electrochemical oxidation
    • resource recovery
    • wastewater treatment


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