Membrane Technologies for Nitrogen Recovery from Waste Streams: Scientometrics and Technical Analysis

Raed A. Al-Juboori, Muayad Al-Shaeli, Saif Al Aani, Daniel Johnson, Nidal Hilal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The concerns regarding the reactive nitrogen levels exceeding the planetary limits are well documented in the literature. A large portion of anthropogenic nitrogen ends in wastewater. Nitrogen removal in typical wastewater treatment processes consumes a considerable amount of energy. Nitrogen recovery can help in saving energy and meeting the regulatory discharge limits. This has motivated researchers and industry professionals alike to devise effective nitrogen recovery systems. Membrane technologies form a fundamental part of these systems. This work presents a thorough overview of the subject using scientometric analysis and presents an evaluation of membrane technologies guided by literature findings. The focus of nitrogen recovery research has shifted over time from nutrient concentration to the production of marketable products using improved membrane materials and designs. A practical approach for selecting hybrid systems based on the recovery goals has been proposed. A comparison between membrane technologies in terms of energy requirements, recovery efficiency, and process scale showed that gas permeable membrane (GPM) and its combination with other technologies are the most promising recovery techniques and they merit further industry attention and investment. Recommendations for potential future search trends based on industry and end users’ needs have also been proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number15
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • hybrid systems
  • membrane technologies
  • nitrogen recovery
  • scientometrics
  • waste stream

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Filtration and Separation


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