Energy Generation from Carbonaceous and Nitrogenous Pollutants via Ammonium, Methane, and Carbon Dioxide Reformation

P-H Lee, M. Ni, L. Xu, F. Dong
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University,
Hong Kong

Keywords: wastewater treatment, energy recovery, carbonaceous and nitrogenous pollutants reformation


An unprecedented integrated electrodeionization–solid oxide fuel cell (EDI–SOFC) system is developed for energy capture from carbonaceous and nitrogenous pollutants from wastewater. The feature of this system is that both carbonaceous and nitrogenous pollutants can be served as fuels, along with an approximate doubling of the energy conversion efficiency over traditional combustion. This energy producing system obtains 57% more net energy output than conventional systems. Of particular interest is the NH4+-N reduction rather than oxidation and CH4 reformation with CO2 avoiding carbon deposition, This EDI-SOFC can be a readily adaptable approach is anaerobic treatment, e.g., anaerobic digestion (AD) of landfill, converting waste into biogas with approximately 60% methane (CH4) and 40% carbon dioxide (CO2) and digestate/leachate with 400~8000 mg L-1 NH4+-N. This system points the way to achieving more sustainable wastewater management.