Nutrient recovery performance utilising an electrodialysis (ED) process was quantified in a 30-cell pair pilot reactor with a 7.2 m2 effective membrane area, utilising domestic anaerobic digester supernatant, which had been passed through a centrifuge as a feed source (centrate). A concentrated product (NH4-N 7100 ± 300 mg/L and K 2490 ± 40 mg/L) could be achieved by concentrating nutrient ions from the centrate wastewater dilute feed stream to the product stream using the ED process. The average total current efficiency for all major cations over the experimental period was 76 ± 2% (NH4-N transport 40%, K transport 14%). The electrode power consumption was 4.9 ± 1.5 kWh/kgN, averaged across the three replicate trials. This value is lower than competing technologies for NH4-N removal and production, and far lower than previous ED lab trials, demonstrating the importance of pilot testing. No significant variation in starting flux densities and cell resistance voltage for subsequent replicate treatments indicated effective cleaning procedures and operational sustainability at treatment durations of several days. This study demonstrates that ED is an economically promising technology for the recovery of nutrients from wastewater.
Water Research – Elsevier
Published: May 15, 2018
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