Electrochemical process for phosphorus recovery from water treatment plants

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Waste materials may contain secondary resources of high socio-economical and environmental value but also unwanted elements for specific applications. The continuous generation of these waste streams may represent an environmental problem.

Toxic cyanobacteria blooms are associated with nutrient enrichment of surface waters. Nanofiltration (NF) is a pressure-driven process used in Water Treatment Plants (WTP) to guarantee safe levels of contaminants in drinking water. NF is effective in removing particulate matter, nutrients and organic contaminants, including cyanobacteria toxins (e.g., microcystin LR). The NF concentrate is a toxin-enriched stream that has to be safely disposed of. This stream is also a source of secondary resources enclosing compounds that can be recovered. A proper separation system may be a key point to increase the utilization of secondary resources. This is the case of phosphorus.

This chapter gives an overview about cyanobacterial blooms and cyanotoxins treatment methodologies to apply in WTP. A synopsis of the electrodialytic (ED) processing parameters to promote phosphorus recovery and decrease of microcystin-LR concentrations from NF waste stream is also given. In ED experiments, phosphorus electromigrated towards the anode compartment and thereby was separated from the concentrate stream. The percentage of phosphorus recovery was dependent on the operational conditions and characteristics of the NF waste stream (up to 84 %). The ED process has also shown potential to reduce MC-LR concentration, after MC-LR migration towards the anode compartment. NF coupled to ED process seems to be a promising technology to include and integrate in WTP contributing to phosphorus recovery but also to decrease the toxicity of NF concentrate.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationElectrokinetics Across Disciplines and Continents: New Strategies for Sustainable Development
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)978-331920179-5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • WTP
  • Nanofiltration
  • ED process
  • Phosphorus
  • MC-LR


Dive into the research topics of 'Electrochemical process for phosphorus recovery from water treatment plants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this