Hydrogen Gas Recycling for Energy Efficient Ammonia Recovery in Electrochemical Systems

Philipp Kuntke, Mariana Rodriguez Arredondo, Laksminarastri Widyakristi, Annemiek ter Heijne, Tom H. J. A. Sleutels, Hubertus V. M. Hamelers*, Cees J. N. Buisman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Recycling of hydrogen gas (H-2) produced at the cathode to the anode in an electrochemical system allows for energy efficient TAN (Total Ammonia Nitrogen) recovery. Using a H-2 recycling electrochemical system (HRES) we achieved high TAN transport rates at low energy input. At a current density of 20 A m(-2), TAN removal rate from the influent was 151 g(N) m(-2) d(-1) at an energy demand of 26.1 kJ g(N)(-1). The maximum TAN transport rate of 335 g(N) m(-2) d(-1) was achieved at a current density of 50 A m(-2) and an energy demand of 56.3 kJ g(N)(-1). High TAN removal efficiency (73-82%) and recovery (60-73%) were reached in all experiments. Therefore, our HRES is a promising alternative for electrochemical and bioelectrochemical TAN recovery. Advantages are the lower energy input and lower risk of chloride oxidation compared to electrochemical technologies and high rates and independence of organic matter compared to bioelectrochemical systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3110-3116
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental science & technology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 7-Mar-2017
Externally publishedYes


  • CELL

Cite this