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Nutrient Recovery from Wastewaters Using Bioelectrochemical Systems

Tampere University
Duration of project1.6.2017–31.12.2021
Area of focusTechnology

Macronutrients nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are vastly used as fertilizers in agriculture. Fertilizer production is, however, facing issues such as finite resources, high energy demand and environmental damage. Therefore, there is increasing need for efficient nutrient recycling and re-use. A significant portion of nutrients used as fertilizers end up in municipal wastewaters, which emerge as an interesting option for nutrient recovery. This doctoral thesis aims at recovering valuable nutrients from wastewaters using (bio)electrochemical methods. In (bio)electrochemistry, electricity is used to catalyze different chemical reactions and function as a driving force to concentrate nutrients into a liquid fertilizer. Special attention is also paid to the fate of pharmaceutical residues in the nutrient recovery system to ensure the safe re-use of the recycled nutrients.

Funding source

Tampere University Doctoral School, Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation



Dr. Pablo Ledezma, The University of Queensland, and Dr. Stefano Freguia, The University of Melbourne