EasyMining Nitrogen removal process

Project Nitrogen

EasyMining´s Nitrogen Removal Process enables efficient removal and recovery of ammonium from aqueous flows.

EasyMining’s new patented innovation enables efficient removal and recovery of ammonium from aqueous flows. In our unique solution nitrogen is captured by an adsorption chemical and separated from the wastewater. As a second step the captured ammonium is recovered in a conversion plant to a fertilizer and the adsorption chemical is regenerated to be used again.

EasyMining’s process helps lowering emissions of both CO2 and the even more powerful greenhouse gas N2O and prevents eutrophication by lowering the nitrogen load on the conventional nitrogen removal process and thereby improving the quality of the effluent. The process creates a circular flow with clean ammonium products made from the nitrogen removed from the waste water.

The benefits:

  • Prevent eutrophication
  • Energy efficiency
  • Resource efficiency
  • Greenhouse gas reduction
  • Cost efficient

The process consists of several successive chemical reactions performed at elevated temperature but atmospheric pressure. There is no need for pressurized vessels or for exceptional materials to be used for the equipment. The mass balance of the process is favourable, since most input chemicals become a part of the product.

The main inputs of the process:

  • Ammonium-containing wastewater
  • Sulphuric acid
  • Ammonia


EasyMining is now working in a project to demonstrate this new, innovative removal and recovery process for ammonium nitrogen which can be used for different ammonium-containing aqueous flows and enables production of different ammonium products (e.g. fertilizers).

 

Enables efficient removal and recovery of ammonium from aqueous flows.


Background

Nitrogen is essential to life and is among the nutrients consumed in the largest quantities by all agricultural crops. However, today's linear flow of macronutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium), from fertilizer manufacturing to wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) via food production and human consumption, is not sustainable.

The demand for nitrogen removal at WWTPs is increasing and nitrogen-containing effluents overall should be viewed as a nitrogen resource. Water streams with high ammonium content, such as reject water from sewage sludge dewatering or landfill leachate, are suitable for nitrogen recovery.

Tricky handling

Nitrogen fertilizers are currently produced in the Haber-Bosch process which is energy intensive and relies on hydrogen produced from natural gas. Nitrogen from the air is converted into ammonia which then can be used in fertilizer products. Via food and humans, the nitrogen ends up in WWTPs. Through biochemical processes the nitrogen is converted from ammonium into nitrogen gas which is released into the air. This process uses large amounts of energy, and often chemicals as well, to destroy a potential fertilizer. If the ammonium could be removed from wastewater but kept in the ammonium form, there would be energy and emission savings when the recycled ammonium is used in fertilizer products.

In the sludge dewatering process in WWTPs, a reject water with a high ammonium concentration is generated. The reject water is usually fed back into the main flow to the WWTP where the ammonium is biochemically removed. Due to the relatively small flow with high ammonium concentration, this stream is suitable for ammonium recovery.

Landfill leachate, as well as ammonium-containing industrial wastewaters, are also potential source for ammonium recovery.

 

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EU LIFE RE-Fertilize project

EasyMining has been granted 19 MSEK from the EU-LIFE program (agreement LIFE18 ENV/SE/000265) to create a demonstration plant to treat reject water at Biofos’ WWTP in Copenhagen and landfill leachate at Ragn-Sells landfill Högbytorp outside Stockholm. The fertilizer product will be evaluated by Lantmännen. The project will run until mid 2022.

Read more on the project webbsite

Anna Lundbom
Marketing and Product Sales Manager

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