Electrochemical monitoring of ammonia during anaerobic digestion

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Ammonia is known as key inhibitor to methanogens in anaerobic digestion (AD) process. It’s of importance to develop efficient tool for ammonia monitoring. In this study, an electrolysis cell (EC) coupled with a complete nitrification reactor was developed as sensor for real time and online monitoring of ammonia in AD. The AD effluent was pumped into nitrification reactor first, in which ammonia was converted to nitrate. Afterwards, the nitrate-rich effluent was introduced into cathode chamber of EC. The correlation between currents and ammonia levels was first evaluated with synthetic ammonia-rich digesters. It was observed that the initial transient currents (0 min) were linearly corresponding to the ammonia levels (from 0 to 95.75 mg/L NH4+-N, R2 = 0.9673). Finally, this new sensor was tested with real AD effluent and the results showed no significant difference with that measured by conventional methods. The sensor developed here has great potential for online, cost-saving, fast and accurate ammonia monitoring in AD process
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2017
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event15th IWA World Conference on Anaerobic Digestion Conference - Beijing, China
Duration: 17 Oct 201720 Oct 2017
Conference number: 15


Conference15th IWA World Conference on Anaerobic Digestion Conference


  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Ammonia
  • Electolysis cell
  • Transient current

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