Nitrogen compounds removal from brackish water by electrodialysis at fixed electric potential and dynamic current density operations

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Nitrogen (N) compounds can occur in water resources from natural and anthropogenic activities. It is ideal that these contaminants be removed before water consumption. As water quality has been affected by increased salinity and pH variation, more advanced and robust technologies such as electrodialysis (ED) can be considered for simultaneous desalination and pollutant removal. In this context, the removal of N-species (NO3, NO2, NH4+, and CH4N2O) from brackish water by ED was investigated for different feed water quality, considering increased salinity (0 – 10g/L NaCl) and pH variation (3 – 11), under limit current density (LCD) at fixed electric potential condition. The applied electric potential (5 – 25V) under, at, and over the LCD at fixed electric potential and dynamic current density (DCD), as a percentage of LCD (0.4 - 1.2), were analyzed to improve the process. In addition, energy efficiency in the form of specific energy consumption (SEC) and current efficiency (CE) were assessed for ED at fixed electric potential and DCD. The results showed that, at extreme pH of the feed water, the removal of NO2 and NH4+ can be affected, while NO3was the most stable compound with pH variation. An increase in feed water salinity just slightly impacted the removal of N-compounds, due to the similar characteristics of the ions in the water. The increase in electric potential at fixed electric potential or DCD increased the removal and molar flux of N-compounds. However, operating over the LCD increased the SEC of the ED process while changes in removal were not significant. DCD procedures resulted in higher CE and shorter run time of the experiments. Therefore, ED proved to be a suitable treatment technique to produce fresh water due to the selective removal of the studied ions, especially at 15V (fixed electrical potential) and 0.8 LCD (DCD) related to removal, molar flux, and run time to achieve guidelines.


Original languageEnglish
Article number121016
JournalWater research
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2024

External IDs

PubMed 38134857
ORCID /0000-0002-6355-9122/work/150882509



  • Desalination, Dynamic current density, Electro-membrane process, Inorganic and organic nitrogen, Physico-chemical water treatment, Nitrogen Dioxide, Electricity, Saline Waters, Ions, Nitrogen, Nitrogen Compounds