Ohio University

Electrochemical Wastewater Remediation

02a Schematic

Animal waste management is a continual challenge for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) because of land application limitations resulting from waste phosphorous and nitrogen content, and associated transport costs. Imposed land waste application limits were developed to prevent nutrient run-off and watershed eutrophication. As such, animal waste is transported and disposed of or used off-site, exacerbating operational costs in this sector.

This challenge represents an opportunity to deploy modular electrochemical technologies for in situ capture of phosphorus and nitrogen from animal waste at the CAFO site. ISEE researchers are developing technologies for CAFO wastewater electrochemical treatment by recovering phosphorus-based and nitrogen-based species as a solid fertilizer. The treatment optimizes operational return by reducing transportation costs while potentially increasing the number of animals housed on-site, and reducing the impact of manure on watersheds.


  • Reduction in nutrient runoff and watershed eutrophication
  • Reduction in lost economic output and fertilizer costs
  • Increase in on-site animal housing due to optimal management of waste output
  • Recovery of nitrogen and phosphorous as slow-release fertilizer
  • Unlike with filtration and adsorbent technologies, recovered product can be re-used rather than land-filled


Technology Readiness Level

  • e-CAFO for phosphorous recovery: TRL 3

Current Investigators


  • Ohio Water Development Authority