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Ammonium and orthophosphate ions removal from source separated human urine using dual reactive filters: A small scale laboratory study in a batch mode.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering (moved 20130630).
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The nutrients available in urine make it a good resource as fertilizer. Limited availability of natural phosphorus (P) is compelling people to think about recovering and returning it back to the land from waste stream. Urine comprising the majority of nitrogen (N) and P among other household wastewater, if managed separately, will benefit human against expensive commercial fertilizers, and eventually will reduce environmental problems. Various reactive filter systems have been studied since late 90’s as a potential system to recover N & P from urine and wastewater as a whole. Most studies are however limited to the laboratory scale only. Optimization of such technologies is one of the prime focuses in this area of research. This thesis project used the combination of two sorptive reactive materials, namely mordenite and polonite, to remove NH4-N and PO4-P from the source separated human urine.

This two months laboratory scale study recommends dilution and storage to be a minimum pretreatment for urine. However as the influent’s NH4-N concentration was extremely high, further dilution or other relevant pretreatment is recommended. In overall, mordenite materials performed better for NH4-N removal reaching as high as 79% whereas polonite materials showed better results for PO4-P removal and the efficiency was as high as 97%. The reduction in NH4-N might also be due to the conversion of nitrogen into other forms. Mordenite materials showed a good potential for PO4-P removal and was up to 88% efficient initially. Both materials did not show the tendency of breakthrough for PO4-P until the end. The salinity measured as electric conductivity was reduced by both materials until about initial half-time period of the experiment. Since mordenite was the first unit to face the highly concentrated urine, it got saturated earlier and started showing the fluctuations in reduction and release for nutrients. The results obtained in this study provide the positive scenario for it to be implemented in the full scale system. However more elaborated studies in full scale addressing the major limitation of this project needs to be done before introducing the system for public uses.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
, TRITA-LWR Degree Project, ISSN 1651-064X ; 2013:13
Keyword [en]
Reactive filters system; Urine; Nutrients removal; Polonite; Mordenite; Batch mode
National Category
Civil Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-171845OAI: diva2:844695
Educational program
Degree of Master - Water System Technology
Available from: 2015-09-21 Created: 2015-08-07 Last updated: 2015-09-21Bibliographically approved

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Land and Water Resources Engineering (moved 20130630)
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