Ammonia Valorization by Liquid-Liquid Membrane Contactors for Liquid Fertilizers Production: Experimental Conditions Evaluation

Membranes (Basel). 2022 Jun 27;12(7):663. doi: 10.3390/membranes12070663.


Liquid-liquid membrane contactors (LLMCs) were studied as a sustainable technology for ammonia recovery from wastewater. Ammonia can be valorized by LLMCs as a potential nutrient and produce liquid fertilizers. Thus, this work aims for the study of different experimental LLMC conditions to produce ammonium salts by an acid stripping stream. The experiments were conducted using two 3MTMLiqui-CellTM LLMC in a series, located in the vertical position and using HNO3 as the acid stripping solution. The flow rates for the feed and stripping sides were fixed during the tests, and two steps were conducted based on previous works. However, different experimental conditions were evaluated to determine its effect on the overall performance: (i) replacing the feed or stripping solution between the steps, (ii) the initial ammonia concentration of the feed solution, (iii) feed volume and (iv) feed temperature. The results demonstrated that better achievements were obtained replacing the acid stripping solution between steps, whereas the feed temperature did not substantially affect the overall performance. Additionally, a high initial ammonia concentration provided more ammonia recovery, although the concentration factor achieved was higher for the low initial ammonia concentration. Finally, a high feed volume afforded better results for the fertilizer side, whereas more NH3 recovery was achieved using less feed volume.

Keywords: acid stripping; ammonium salts; concentration; recovery; temperature; volume.