The anaerobic digestion of substrates with high ammonia content has always been a bottleneck in the methanisation process of biomasses. Since microbial communities in anaerobic digesters are sensitive to free ammonia at certain conditions, the digestion of nitrogen-rich substrates such as livestock wastes may result in inhibition/toxicity eventually leading to process failures, unless appropriate engineering precautions are taken. There are many different options reported in literature to remove ammonia from anaerobic digesters to achieve a safe and stable process so that along with high methane yields, a good quality of effluents can also be obtained. Conventional techniques to remove ammonia include physical/chemical methods, immobilization and adaptation of microorganisms, while novel methods include ultrasonication, microwave, hollow fiber membranes and microbial fuel cell applications. This paper discusses conventional and novel methods of ammonia removal from anaerobic digesters using nitrogen-rich substrates, with particular focus on recent literature available about this topic.

You do not currently have access to this content.