Wastewater may be turned into nitrogen fertilizers

Scientists at Drexel University (USA) conducted a study that showed that wastewater can become the most important source for obtaining nitrogen fertilizers for agriculture.

According to their report, the production of nitrogen fertilizers is very energy intensive and accounts for almost 2% of carbon dioxide emissions on the planet. Meanwhile, the extraction of nitrogen from wastewater for subsequent use in the synthesis of ammonia and then in the production of nitrogen fertilizers could have a positive impact on the environment.

“Obtaining nitrogen from wastewater would create a circular nitrogen economy,” said Patrick Gurian, a member of the research team. “Consequently, its reuse will be beneficial for agriculture and will become an additional source of income.”

Several technologies for obtaining nitrogen from wastewater are currently being studied. One of them is to clean them with air, raising the temperature and changing the acid-base balance of the water so that the ammonia contained in it evaporates and can be collected for further conversion into ammonium sulfate. In terms of cost, it’s 12 times cheaper than analogs obtained at chemical plants.

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