Technology Sheet Ammonia Removal (PRD-AMS Process)
The discharge of ammonia from wastewater treatment plants and industrial processes has become a challenging issue through the United States. Pursuant to EPA’s 1999 water quality criteria, nearly half of all states – 24 states plus the District of Columbia have adopted new rules addressing total ammonia concentrations to protect aquatic life. Many concentrated wastewater streams produced in food and agro-industry are treated using sludge digestion, and effluents from this process frequently contain ammonia in high concentrations (up to 2 kg/m3). Typically, 40-5-% of the total nitrogen in a municipal treatment plant is found as ammonia in the centrate or filtrate streams. Ammonia is widely used in the chemical industry in the production of fertilizers, plastics and explosive, resulting in large quantities of wastewater containing ammonia.
The target, treated-level of ammonia depends on the application. Aquaculture water requires ammonia levels of less than 1 mg/L, whereas in municipal wastewater treatment, discharge levels may be up to ten times higher. In industrial wastewater treatment, discharge levels of ammonia may exceed 100 mg/L.