The microbial electrochemical current accelerates urea hydrolysis for recovery of nutrients from source-separated urine

Xi Chen, Yifan Gao, Dianxun Hou, He Ma, Lu Lu, Dongya Sun, Xiaoyuan Zhang, Peng Liang, Xia Huang, Zhiyong Ren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study demonstrates that a wastewaterdriven microbial electrochemical process greatly facilitates traditional rate-limiting urea hydrolysis and efficiently recovers ammonium and phosphate nutrients from source-separated urine. Using both synthetic and diluted actual urine and wastewater, 76-87% of nitrogen and 72-93% of phosphorus were continuously removed from source-separated urine and collected in recovery solutions. The acceleration of hydrolysis and nutrient recovery were driven by the electrical potential generated during wastewater treatment. The efficient nutrient recovery is attributed to the increase in the rate of hydrolysis induced by continuous ammonium migration and removal, which alleviates storage, health, and operational issues associated with the utilization of urine. Further investigations of removal behaviors of micropollutants under electrochemical conditions will be performed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-310
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology Letters
Volume4
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Water Science and Technology

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