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PeerJ. 2018 Jun 15;6:e5001. doi: 10.7717/peerj.5001. eCollection 2018.

Highly efficient removal of ammonia nitrogen from wastewater by dielectrophoresis-enhanced adsorption.

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College of Life and Environmental Science, Minzu University of China, Beijing, China.
Institute for Materials Research and Innovation, Institute for Renewable Energy and Environmental Technologies, University of Bolton, Bolton, UK.


A new approach, based on dielectrophoresis (DEP), was developed in this work to enhance traditional adsorption for the removal of ammonia nitrogen (NH3-N) from wastewater. The factors that affected the removal efficiency were systematically investigated, which allowed us to determine optimal operation parameters. With this new method we found that the removal efficiency was significantly improved from 66.7% by adsorption only to 95% by adsorption-DEP using titanium metal mesh as electrodes of the DEP and zeolite as the absorbent material. In addition, the dosage of the absorbent/zeolite and the processing time needed for the removal were greatly reduced after the introduction of DEP into the process. In addition, a very low discharge concentration (C, 1.5 mg/L) of NH3-N was achieved by the new method, which well met the discharge criterion of C < 8 mg/L (the emission standard of pollutants for rare earth industry in China).


Adsorption; Ammonia nitrogen; Dielectrophoresis; Wastewater; Zeolite

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