Impact of sidestream pre-treatment on ammonia recovery by membrane contactors: experimental and economic evaluation
UNIVERSAL IDENTIFIER: http://hdl.handle.net/11093/4251
EDITED VERSION: https://www.mdpi.com/2077-0375/12/12/1251
UNESCO SUBJECT: 3303.03 Procesos Químicos ; 3303 Ingeniería y Tecnología Químicas
DOCUMENT TYPE: article
Membrane contactor is a promising technology for ammonia recovery from the anaerobic digestion centrate. However, high suspended solids and dissolved organic matter concentrations can reduce the effectiveness of the technology. In this study, coagulation–flocculation (C/F) and aeration pre-treatments were evaluated to reduce chemical oxygen demand (COD), turbidity, suspended solids and alkalinity before the ammonia recovery stage using a membrane contactor. The mass transfer coefficient (Km) and total ammonia (TAN) recovery efficiency of the membrane contactor increased from 7.80 × 10−7 to 1.04 × 10−5 m/s and from 8 to 67%, respectively, after pre-treating the real sidestream centrate. The pre-treatment results showed that dosing aluminium sulphate (Al2(SO4)3) at 30 mg Al/L was the best strategy for the C/F process, providing COD, turbidity and TSS removal efficiencies of 50 ± 5, 95 ± 3 and 90 ± 4%, respectively. The aeration step reduced 51 ± 6% the HCO3− content and allowed reducing alkaline consumption by increasing the pH before the membrane contactor. The techno-economic evaluation showed that the combination of C/F, aeration and membrane contactor can be economically feasible for ammonia recovery. Overall, the results of this study demonstrate that C/F and aeration are simple and effective techniques to improve membrane contactor performance for nitrogen recovery from the anaerobic digestion centrate.
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