Wastewater Treatment and Remediation

Wastewater Treatment and Remediation (KSC-TOPS-36)
Closed loop system for recovering ammonia from wastewater
NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC) seeks to license its Water Remediation Treatment System to industry. The system utilizes an affordable media that is highly selective for ammonia, allowing large concentrations of ammonia in wastewater to be reduced to levels less than 1 ppm. Following treatment, the media is regenerated for reuse in the system and ammonia is captured as a by-product. Removing nitrogen pollutants, like ammonia, is a critical environmental issue. Nitrogen pollution is causing serious changes to aquatic ecosystems; the primary cause of which is insufficient municipal water filtration processes allowing nitrogen to seep into groundwater. NASAs Ammonia Recover System could be utilized in a multitude of ways to remove nitrogen from various wastewater sources. The technology could be incorporated into water treatment systems at various stages; water treatment, effluent polishing, resource reclamation, resource recycling, grey water treatment, etc.

The Technology
NASA's system was developed for smaller-scale, space-based applications. However, the technology is scalable for larger industrial and municipal water treatment applications. Implementation of the Ammonia Recovery System could significantly reduce nitrogen content from water treatment processes, meaningfully improving the quality of water. This system offers a novel way to reduce nitrogen water pollutants, while allowing for the nitrogen to be collected and reused- reducing environmental and public health risks and providing an environmentally friendly fertilizer option. NASAs environmental solutions work to sustain life on earth through space based technology The adaptable nature of this system gives it potentially broad applications in a wide variety of industries; it is particularly ideal for on-site remediation of wastewater in places like condo complexes, hotels and water parks. Current methods of ammonia recovery could not meet NASAs mission requirements, so a new process was devised to optimize for high ammonia selectivity, simplicity, low volume , low power usage and zero contaminants in the effluent. To do this, NASA designed a novel regenerable struvite-formation system for the capture of ammonia. This system has three primary functions: 1) Removal of ammonia from wastewater using a media that is highly selective for ammonia 2) Capture of the ammonia for later use (e.g., as a fertilizer) 3) Regeneration of the capture media for reuse in the system
Media before treating an ammonia waste stream
  • Higher capacity than traditional absorbents (multiple equivalents Ammonia/L substrate)
  • Effective under varying influent ammonia concentrations (e.g., from 10s to 100,000s of ppm ammonia)
  • Contact times measured in seconds are needed for complete removal, with similar times needed for regeneration
  • Easily regenerated media, which allows for repeated use in the system
  • Ammonia captured/recovered during media regeneration phase (ammonia can then be reused or sold)
  • Less expensive and more selective for ammonia than typical ion-exchange resins

  • Agricultural wastewater (swine/dairy farms, etc.)
  • Food processing plants
  • Fertilizer plants (urea)
  • Chemical plants
  • Textiles (wool)
  • Electroplating
  • Municipal water treatment
  • Recycled water
  • Reclaimed water
  • Grey water
  • Multi-unit housing complexes
Technology Details

KSC-13681 KSC-13681-CIP
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