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Use of electrodialysis and reverse osmosis for the recovery and concentration of ammonia from swine manure

Elsevier Ltd
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2006.12.039
  • Ammonia
  • Electrodialysis
  • Membrane
  • Reverse Osmosis
  • Swine Manure
  • Chemistry


Abstract This project aimed at producing a concentrated nitrogen fertilizer from liquid swine manure using electrodialysis (ED) and reverse osmosis (RO), as a mean to help resolve the excess nutrient problem faced by many swine producers, and offer an alternative to chemical nitrogen fertilizer production. Different types of ED membranes were evaluated based on the NH 4 + transfer rate, current efficiency and membrane stability. A combination of CMB/AMX membranes was retained due to its high NH 4 + transfer rate and chemical stability. The maximum total ammonia concentration (NH 3–N) achievable by ED was limited by water transport from the manure to the concentrate compartment, and ammonia volatilization (17%) from the open concentrate compartment. Results suggested that, under the conditions of this experiment, a maximum total NH 3–N concentration of about 16 g/L could be reached with the ED system. An ED concentrate (8.7 g/L of total NH 3–N) was also fed to TFC-HF reverse osmosis membranes. A mass balance analysis revealed that the RO permeate, which represented 49.6% of the initial volume, contained 8.6% of the ammonia. However, the RO concentrate contained only 66.6% of the initial total NH 3–N, suggesting that 21.2% of the ammonia was volatilized during the concentration test with RO membranes. Ammonia concentration in the RO concentrate reached approximately 13 g/L, which is similar to the maximum concentration that could be achieved by ED. These results suggest that the use of ED and RO membranes to recover and concentrate ammonia is potentially interesting but the process must include an approach to minimize ammonia volatilization or trap volatilized ammonia.

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