A review of biotechnologies for the abatement of ammonia emissions

Eloi Morral*, David Gabriel, Antonio D. Dorado, Xavier Gamisans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Ammonia emissions are found in a wide range of facilities such as wastewater treatment plants, composting plants, pig houses, as well as the fertilizer, food and metallurgy industries. Effective management of these emissions is important for minimizing the detrimental effects they can have on health and the environment. Physical-chemical (thermal oxidation, absorption, catalytic oxidation, etc.) treatments are the most common techniques for the abatement of ammonia emissions. However, the requirement for more eco-friendly techniques has increased interest in biological alternatives. Accordingly, several bio-based process configurations (biofilters, biotrickling filters and bioscrubbers) have been reported for ammonia abatement in a wide spectrum of conditions. Due to ammonia is a highly soluble compound, bioscrubber seems to be the best option for ammonia abatement. However, this technology is still not widely studied. The proper managements of the ammonia bio-oxidation sub-products is a key parameter for the correct operation of the process. The aim of this review is to critically examine the biotechnologies currently used for the treatment of ammonia gas emissions highlighting the pros and cons of each technology. The key parameters for each configuration used in both full-scale and lab-scale bioreactors are analyzed and summarized according to previous publications.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number128606
Publication statusAccepted in press - 2020


  • Ammonia biotreatment
  • Biofilter
  • Bioscrubber
  • Biotrickling filter


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