Technologies to recover nutrients from waste streams: a critical review

Mehta, Chirag M., Khunjar, Wendell O., Nguyen, Vivi, Tait, Stephan and Batstone, Damien J. (2015) Technologies to recover nutrients from waste streams: a critical review. Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology, 45 4: 385-427. doi:10.1080/10643389.2013.866621

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Author Mehta, Chirag M.
Khunjar, Wendell O.
Nguyen, Vivi
Tait, Stephan
Batstone, Damien J.
Title Technologies to recover nutrients from waste streams: a critical review
Journal name Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1064-3389
Publication date 2015-01-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1080/10643389.2013.866621
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 45
Issue 4
Start page 385
End page 427
Total pages 43
Place of publication Philadelphia United States
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Technologies to recover nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium from waste streams has undergone accelerated development in the past decade, pre-dominantly due to a surge in fertilizer prices and stringent discharge limits on these nutrients. This article provides a critical state of art review of appropriate technologies which identifies research gaps, evaluates current and future potential for application of the respective technologies, and outlines paths and barriers for adoption of the nutrient recovery technologies. The different technologies can be broadly divided into the sequential categories of nutrient accumulation, followed by nutrient release, followed by nutrient extraction. Nutrient accumulation can be achieved via plants, microorganisms (algae and prokaryotic), and physicochemical mechanisms including chemical precipitation, membrane separation, sorption and binding with magnetic particles. Nutrient release can occur by biochemical (anaerobic digestion and bioleaching) and thermochemical treatment. Nutrient extraction can occur via crystallization, gas permeable membranes, liquid-gas stripping and electrodialysis. These technologies were analyzed with respect to waste stream type, the product being recovered and relative maturity. Recovery of nutrients in a concentrated form (e.g., such as the inorganic precipitate struvite) is seen as desirable because it would allow a wider range of options for eventual reuse with reduced pathogen risk and improved ease of transportation. Overall, there is a need to further develop technologies for nitrogen and potassium recovery and to integrate accumulation-release-extraction technologies to improve nutrient recovery efficiency. There is a need to apply, demonstrate and prove the more recent and innovative technologies to move these beyond their current infancy. Lastly there is a need to investigate and develop agriculture application of the recovered nutrient products. These advancements will reduce waterway and air pollution by redirecting nutrients from waste into recovered nutrient products that provides a long-term sustainable supply of nutrients and helps buffer nutrient price rises in the future.
Keyword Nitrogen
Nutrient recovery technologies
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
Advanced Water Management Centre Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 30 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 33 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 16 May 2014, 01:05:06 EST by Mr Chirag Mehta on behalf of Advanced Water Management Centre