Treating Nitrates in Wastewater Coupled with Nutrient and Energy Recovery
Nitrates are a common water pollutant present in many wastewater streams with dire consequences on both human and environmental health; the figure above shows the influence of eutrophication that causes algal blooms on Lake Erie every year. Electrochemically treating nitrates is complex as nitrate reduction is a multi-electron, multi-step process that has many possible end-products including N2, N2O and NH3. Our goal is to investigate strategies and device designs to be able to simultaneously recover nutrient and energy from nitrate reduction while using a renewable source of energy for the reaction. We are interested in understanding the influence of species transport and reaction kinetics on the species produced by nitrate reduction when paired, for example, with water oxidation.