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Using Liqui-Cel™ to recover Ammonia from Industrial Wastewater

Using Liqui-Cel™ to recover Ammonia from Industrial Wastewater.

Ammonia exhibits a dual nature, functioning at times as an industrial waste material that necessitates treatment before discharge, and at other times as a valuable fertilizer in the form of ammonium sulfate.

Liqui-Cel™ membrane contactors serve as a clean, safe, and effective means to convert dilute ammonia in waste into concentrated fertilizer stock.

Understand Ammonia/ammonium chemistry as follows:

At low pH, ammonia exists as the ammonium ion (NH4+), making it water-soluble. The addition of a base, such as NaOH, transforms it into dissolved ammonia gas (NH3) with a finite vapor pressure. NH3 can permeate through Liqui-Cel™ pores. When the receiving liquid is sulfuric acid (H2SO4), the ammonia undergoes conversion into clean, marketable ammonium sulfate. The pKa of NH3/NH4+ is approximately pH 9.5:

NH3 (gas) + H2O (liq) ⇌ NH4+ (aq) + OH- (aq)

TMCS is the overarching process for ammonia removal utilizing Liqui-Cel™ membrane contactors. Liqui-Cel™ optimized TMCS contactors (TransMembrane ChemiSorption) for chemical transfer.

In this process, the incoming wastewater pH is adjusted to a range of 11-12, surpassing the pKa. The fluid is thoroughly filtered to prevent contactor fouling and is then introduced into the TMCS shell side. Sulfuric acid, with a pH of 1-2, is circulated inside the fibers and recycled. This process becomes economically viable when the wastewater contains at least 200 ppm of ammonia.

More can be found by speaking with an expert at SnowPure. We also link to a paper written by scientists at 3M™ Liqui-Cel™.