Emerging high-ammonia‑nitrogen wastewater remediation by biological treatment and photocatalysis techniques

Nian Liu, Zhen Sun, Huan Zhang, Lasse Hyldgaard Klausen, Ryu Moonhee, Shifei Kang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperReviewResearchpeer-review


The bacterial and photocatalysis techniques have been widely applied into the remediation of ammonia nitrogen wastewater. Although traditional microbial methods had been verified useful; more efficient, energy-saving and controllable candidate treatment methods are still urgently needed to cover the increasingly diverse ammonia nitrogen pollution cases. The bacterial treatment technique for ammonia nitrogen mainly depends on the ammonia nitrogen oxidation-reduction (e.g. nitrification, denitrification) by nitrifying bacteria and denitrifying bacteria, but these reactions suffer from slow denitrifying kinetic process and uncontrolled disproportionation reaction. In comparison, the photocatalysis technique based on photoelectrons is more efficient and has some advantages, such as low temperature reaction and long life, while the photocatalysis technique can not perform multiple complex biochemical reactions. Despite much scientific knowledge obtained about this issue recently, such research has yet not been widely adopted in the industry because of many concerns about subsequent catalyst stability and economic feasibility. This review summarized and discussed the very recent achievements and key problems on remediation of high-ammonia‑nitrogen wastewater and oxidation driven by bacterial treatment and photocatalysis techniques, as well as the most promising future directions for these two techniques, especially the potential of jointly bacterial-photocatalysis techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Article number162603
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • Ammonia nitrogen remediation
  • Ammonia nitrogen wastewater
  • Bacterial treatment
  • Denitrification
  • Photocatalysis


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