This paper reports on the physico-chemical removal of NH4+ from the supernatant line in municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), using zinc-hexa-cyano-ferrate (ZnHCF) beads. The work is divided into three parts: First, the characteristics of three (Zn-, Co-, Ni-) types of HCF beads were determined, with a finding that ZnHCF was the most suitable for the purpose of this work. Second, synthetic and actual supernatant wastewater was passed through a ZnHCF column for many cycles until apparent steady-state results were attained. Due to the very high affinity of the beads toward NH4+ and the much lower affinity toward competing cations, the same regeneration solution could be used for many cycles (20 cycles in this work) without affecting the following adsorption breakthrough curve efficiency and the operational capacity, which was >88% at the end of all adsorption steps. Finally, a cost analysis was performed, revealing that the cost of removing ~500 mg/L of ammonia from the supernatant line is ~$0.02 per m3 of raw wastewater flowing into the plant if the ammonia is recaptured and sold as NH4Cl. This may be cost-effective when the WWTP receives a higher-than-planned load, and an incentive exists for alleviating the ammonia load on the oxidation reactor.
- Prussian Blue Analogues (PBA) composite
- dewatering supernatant
- digested sludge