Presentation of the Best Practice

Target challenge

  • Difficult access to water
  • Water for irrigation and food production is not available
  • Poor quality of treated water

Area Typology

  • Agricultural area

Main beneficiaries

  • Farmers


  • EU funding

Implementation site


NCW type

  • Black Water (BW)


Description of the innovative component:
The experimental activity aims to verify the potential of the membrane gas extraction technique for the recovery of high-purity concentrated ammonia solution from the centrate of an anaerobic digester for the treatment of manure produced in the plain of Arborea (Italy). The plain is a very extended area devoted to intensive cattle farming and agricultural activities and represents an excellence in the Sardinian agro-livestock system. Due to the intensive agricultural practices the plain of Arborea is a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone.
The chemical-physical quality of the digestate, analyzed during the experimentation, showed a high content of ammonia nitrogen present in the digestate compatible with the stripping removal technique.
The principle of the technique is to apply a difference in vapour pressure for ammonia over a hydrophobic gas permeable membrane to transfer gaseous ammonia from the feed digestate solution into a stripping solution in order to produce concentrated ammonium sulphate which can be used as a fertilizer.
The results showed that about 93% of ammonium content in the digestate solution could be transferred to the acid stripping solution.
About 54% of the nitrogen (the rest of 11% was organic nitrogen) present in the digestate is found in ammonia form, which is the fraction more dangerous of the total nitrogen that can be eliminated using this technology.This application is the first in Italy on the livestock manure.

Obstacles to implementation

  • Isuffi cient funding instruments to support solution for NCW
  • High cost of technological solutions

Obstacles to funding

This type of funding is linked to a call for tenders and the best projects from both a technical and administrative and communication point of view can receive funding


The project was completed and continued with the installation and management of the plant for the production of ammonium sulphate by stripping the ammonia derived from the bio-digestate of livestock…

Potentiel of exploitation/outscaling

Alternative solutions are already being studied for the pre-treatment given the type of rather coarse wastewater which gives rise to critical processing issues. An ongoing collaboration with an…

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