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Electrochemical resource recovery from digestate to prevent ammonia toxicity during anaerobic digestion

(2012) ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY. 46(21). p.12209-12216
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Biotechnology for a sustainable economy (Bio-Economy)
Abstract
Ammonia inhibition during anaerobic digestion limits the substrate loading rate and endangers process stability. Furthermore, digestates are interesting feedstocks for nutrient recovery. In this lab-scale study, an electrochemical cell was used to investigate the NH4+ flux from anode to cathode. Under optimal conditions with synthetic wastewater, an NH4+ charge transfer efficiency of 96% and NH4+ flux of 120 g N m(-2) d(-1) could be obtained at a concomitant electricity input of 5 kWh kg(-1) N removed. A more selective NH4+ transfer could be established by maintaining a high concentration of other cations in the cathode compartment. Comparable NH4+ fluxes could be obtained with digestate at an electrical power input of 13 kWh kg(-1) N removed and 41% current efficiency. The ammonium level in the digestate could be lowered from 2.1 to 0.8 - 1.2 g N L-1. Interestingly, also potassium fluxes of up to 241 g K+ m(-2) d(-1) could be obtained at 23% current efficiency. As the cathode can be operated at high pH without the need for chemical addition, stripping and absorption of dissolved ammonia could reach 100% efficiency. By valorization of the generated side products, this technology shows economic potential for practical application.
Keywords
MICROBIAL FUEL-CELL, BIOELECTROCHEMICAL SYSTEMS, EXCHANGE MEMBRANES, SWINE MANURE, WASTE-WATER, REMOVAL, ELECTRODIALYSIS, INHIBITION, GENERATION, TRANSPORT

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Chicago
Desloover, Joachim, Andualem Abate Woldeyohannis, Willy Verstraete, Nico Boon, and Korneel Rabaey. 2012. “Electrochemical Resource Recovery from Digestate to Prevent Ammonia Toxicity During Anaerobic Digestion.” Environmental Science & Technology 46 (21): 12209–12216.
APA
Desloover, J., Woldeyohannis, A. A., Verstraete, W., Boon, N., & Rabaey, K. (2012). Electrochemical resource recovery from digestate to prevent ammonia toxicity during anaerobic digestion. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, 46(21), 12209–12216.
Vancouver
1.
Desloover J, Woldeyohannis AA, Verstraete W, Boon N, Rabaey K. Electrochemical resource recovery from digestate to prevent ammonia toxicity during anaerobic digestion. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY. 2012;46(21):12209–16.
MLA
Desloover, Joachim, Andualem Abate Woldeyohannis, Willy Verstraete, et al. “Electrochemical Resource Recovery from Digestate to Prevent Ammonia Toxicity During Anaerobic Digestion.” ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY 46.21 (2012): 12209–12216. Print.
@article{3069027,
  abstract     = {Ammonia inhibition during anaerobic digestion limits the substrate loading rate and endangers process stability. Furthermore, digestates are interesting feedstocks for nutrient recovery. In this lab-scale study, an electrochemical cell was used to investigate the NH4+ flux from anode to cathode. Under optimal conditions with synthetic wastewater, an NH4+ charge transfer efficiency of 96\% and NH4+ flux of 120 g N m(-2) d(-1) could be obtained at a concomitant electricity input of 5 kWh kg(-1) N removed. A more selective NH4+ transfer could be established by maintaining a high concentration of other cations in the cathode compartment. Comparable NH4+ fluxes could be obtained with digestate at an electrical power input of 13 kWh kg(-1) N removed and 41\% current efficiency. The ammonium level in the digestate could be lowered from 2.1 to 0.8 - 1.2 g N L-1. Interestingly, also potassium fluxes of up to 241 g K+ m(-2) d(-1) could be obtained at 23\% current efficiency. As the cathode can be operated at high pH without the need for chemical addition, stripping and absorption of dissolved ammonia could reach 100\% efficiency. By valorization of the generated side products, this technology shows economic potential for practical application.},
  author       = {Desloover, Joachim and Woldeyohannis, Andualem Abate and Verstraete, Willy and Boon, Nico and Rabaey, Korneel},
  issn         = {1520-5851},
  journal      = {ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE \& TECHNOLOGY},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {21},
  pages        = {12209--12216},
  title        = {Electrochemical resource recovery from digestate to prevent ammonia toxicity during anaerobic digestion},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es3028154},
  volume       = {46},
  year         = {2012},
}

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