Increasing ammonia recovery from high-level ammonium wastewater via adding sodium sulfate to prevent nitrogen generation in the cathode

LJ Xu and YS Pang and DZ Huang and HC Zhuang and TF Luo and PH Lee and WZ Liu and S Zhang and L Feng, ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH, 186, 109521 (2020).

DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2020.109521

The high-level ammonium-nitrogen (NH4+-N) is a contaminant for aqueous environment but a potential hydrogen fuel. This study investigated an approach of increasing ammonia recovery via adding sodium sulfate of 0-1.5 M to prevent from nitrogen generation. The results of experiment tests, electrochemical analysis and MD simulation demonstrated that the added Na2SO4 assisted ammonium transport inhibited nitrogen gas generation in a certain concentration range. In electric double layer (EDL), with Na2SO4 concentration increasing, both the migration velocities of NH4+ and Na+ are accelerated for Na2SO4 of 0-0.25 M, whereas they are decelerated for concentrate Na2SO4 that 0.5 M). A thick layer formed by Na+ that imposed a fierce competitive adsorption blocked the migration of NH4+ and the transportation of electrons. The decrease of electrons and the accumulation of water molecules caused the potential drop in the EDL. 0.25 M Na2SO4 was the optimal concentration from the aspect of ion transports. The results obtained in this study can allow the manipulation of EDI capacity optimization.

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