Research at Wetsus focuses on improving the NEWBIES technology by investigating new concepts, developing cleaning and scaling mitigation strategies, and analysis and improving on the ammonia separation mechanisms. Therefore, a team of researchers including Mariana Rodrigues (WUR/Wetsus), Philipp Kuntke (WUR/Wetsus), Tom Sleutels (Wetsus), Annemiek Ter Heijne (WUR), Bert Hamelers (Wetsus/WUR), and Cees Busiman (WUR/Wetsus) are working together with the support of the Wetsus Resource Recovery theme.
In addition to these innovative contributions to the NEWBIES project, Wetsus also takes the lead in analysis and reporting of the pilot phases on urine and landfill leachate, by processing the liquid chemical composition analyses during these phases and reporting the resulting outcomes in the form of scientific publications.
Latest scientific publications
Ammonia recovery from anaerobic digester centrate using onsite pilot scale bipolar membrane electrodialysis coupled to membrane stripping
May 26, 2022
Ammonia recovery from centrate of an anaerobic digester was investigated using an onsite bipolar-electrodialysis (BP-ED) pilot scale plant coupled to two liquid/liquid membrane contactor (LLMC) modules. To investigate the process performance and robustness, the pilot plant was operated at varying current densities, load ratio (current to nitrogen loading), and in continuous and intermittent current (Donnan) mode.
Application of ammonium fertilizers recovered by an Electrochemical System
May 5, 2022
Nitrogen (N) is an essential nutrient for plants and plays an important role in agriculture. However, the cycle between nitrogen input into agriculture and the nitrogen content in wastewater has been broken. Recently, nitrogen recovery from wastewater was demonstrated using an electrochemical system (ES) combined with a gas permeable membrane. This work demonstrates that fertilizers recovered by electrochemical systems can be used to improve crop growth and are a feasible alternative to commercial fertilizers.
Donnan Dialysis for scaling mitigation during electrochemical ammonium recovery from complex wastewater
August 1, 2021
Inorganic scaling is often an obstacle for implementing electrodialysis systems in general and for nutrient recovery from wastewater specifically. In this work, Donnan dialysis was explored, to prevent scaling and to prolong operation of an electrochemical system for TAN (total ammonia nitrogen) recovery.
Minimal Bipolar Membrane Cell Configuration for Scaling Up Ammonium Recovery
November 18, 2020
Electrochemical systems for total ammonium nitrogen (TAN) recovery are a promising alternative compared with conventional nitrogen-removal technologies. To make them competitive, we propose a new minimal stackable configuration using cell pairs with only bipolar membranes and cation-exchange membranes. The tested bipolar electrodialysis (BP-ED) stack included six cell pairs of feed and concentrate compartments. The TAN transport rate, TAN removal, and energy input achieved by the minimal BP-ED stack demonstrated a promising new cell configuration for upscaling.
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