Electrochemically-assisted ammonia recovery from wastewater using a floating electrode

Tim Muster, Johannes Jermakka

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    A novel methodology for the removal and recovery of NH 3 from wastewater based upon electrochemical oxidation and a previously unreported electrochemically-assisted surface transfer mechanism is introduced. Recovery of NH 3 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 NH 3 recovery without the need for ion-exchange membranes. Also anodic reactions that simultaneously occur at depth in the wastewater induced NH 3 oxidation in accordance with proven mechanisms. The floating electrode approach offers improved NH 3 removal efficiency in comparison to electrooxidation. Trials conducted on synthetic wastewater and filtered anaerobic centrate demonstrated decreased NH 3 concentration up to 216 mg/l-hr and 110 mg/l-hr respectively under 5 mA/cm 2 current density. The technology would be best used to treat municipal and industrial wastewaters possessing high NH 3 concentration.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1804-1811
    Number of pages8
    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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