New progress of ammonia recovery during ammonia nitrogen removal from various wastewaters

Shuyu Xiang, Yuhuan Liu, Guangming Zhang, Roger Ruan, Yunpu Wang, Xiaodan Wu, Hongli Zheng, Qi Zhang, Leipeng Cao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


The recovery of ammonia–nitrogen during wastewater treatment and water purification is increasingly critical in energy and economic development. The concentration of ammonia–nitrogen in wastewater is different depending on the type of wastewater, making it challenging to select ammonia–nitrogen recovery technology. Meanwhile, the conventional nitrogen removal method wastes ammonia–nitrogen resources. Based on the circular economy, this review comprehensively introduces the characteristics of several main ammonia–nitrogen source wastewater plants and their respective challenges in treatment, including municipal wastewater, industrial wastewater, livestock and poultry wastewater and landfill leachate. Furthermore, we introduce the main methods currently adopted in the ammonia–nitrogen removal process of wastewater from physical (air stripping, ion exchange and adsorption, membrane and capacitive deionization), chemical (chlorination, struvite precipitation, electrochemical oxidation and photocatalysis) and biological (classical and typical activated sludge, novel methods based on activated sludge, microalgae and photosynthetic bacteria) classification based on the ammonia recovery concept. We discuss the applicable methods of recovering ammonia nitrogen in several main wastewater plants. Finally, we prospect the research direction of ammonia removal and recovery in wastewater based on sustainable development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number144
JournalWorld Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Nature B.V.


  • Ammonia–nitrogen recovery
  • Ammonia–nitrogen removal
  • Ammonia–nitrogen wastewater
  • Biological treatment
  • Sustainable development

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review


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