Ammonium recovery from municipal wastewater by ion exchange

Frascari, Dario ; Pinelli, Davide ; Bovina, Sara ; Maggetti, Carla (2022) Ammonium recovery from municipal wastewater by ion exchange. University of Bologna. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsacta/6797. [Dataset]
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Ion exchange represents one of the most promising processes for ammonium recovery from municipal wastewater (MWW). However, most previous studies on ammonium ion exchange did not optimize the process or evaluate its robustness under real operational conditions. This experimental study aimed at (i) developing a procedure for the selection of a sorbent for selective ammonium removal/recovery from MWW, (ii) validating the procedure by applying it to several sorbents, (iii) performing a preliminary optimization and robustness assessment of ammonium removal/recovery with the selected sorbent. The application of the procedure to natural and synthetic zeolites and a cation exchange resin confirmed that batch isotherm tests need to be integrated by continuous-flow tests. The selected sorbent, a natural mixture of Chabazite and Phillipsite, resulted in high performances in terms of cation exchange capacity (33 mgN gdry resin-1), ammonium operating capacity (5.2 mgN gdry resin-1), ammonium recovery yield (78-91%) and selectivity towards ammonium. The process performances resulted stable during 7 adsorption/desorption cycles conducted with MWW treatment plant effluents in a 60-cm column. The switch to a highly saline effluent produced in a hotspot of seawater intrusion did not determine significant changes in performances. Contact time was reduced to 6 min without any decrease in performances. Potassium – well tolerated by crops – was selected as the regenerating agent, in the perspective to produce a desorbed product to be re-used as fertilizer. The study shows that Chabazite/Phillipsite has a high capacity to recover ammonium from MWW in a circular economy approach.

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Frascari, DarioUniversity of Bologna0000-0001-9258-8208
Pinelli, DavideUniversity of Bologna
Bovina, SaraUniversity of Bologna
Maggetti, CarlaUniversity of Bologna
Frascari, DarioUniversity of Bologna0000-0001-9258-8208Contact person
Deposit date
22 Dec 2022 11:44
Last modified
22 Dec 2022 11:44
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StopUP - Protecting the aquatic environment from urban runoff pollution
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