Nutrient removal from domestic wastewater: A comprehensive review on conventional and advanced technologies

Prangya Ranjan Rout, Muhammad Kashif Shahid, Rajesh Roshan Dash, Puspendu Bhunia, Dezhao Liu, Sunita Varjani, Tian C. Zhang, Rao Y. Surampalli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Nitrogen and phosphorous are indispensable for growth and vitality of living beings, hence termed as nutrients. However, discharge of nutrient rich waste streams to aquatic ecosystems results in eutrophication. Therefore, nutrient removal from wastewater is crucial to meet the strict nutrient discharge standards. Similarly, nutrient recovery from waste streams is vital for the realization of a circular economy by avoiding the depletion of finite resources. This manuscript presents analysis of existing information on different conventional as well as advanced treatment technologies that are commonly practiced for the removal of nutrient from domestic wastewater. First, the information pertaining to the biological nutrient removal technologies are discussed. Second, onsite passive nutrient removal technologies are reviewed comprehensively. Third, advanced nutrient removal technologies are summarized briefly. The mechanisms, advantages, and disadvantages of these technologies along with their efficiencies and limitations are discussed. An integrated approach for simultaneous nutrient removal and recovery is recommended. The fifth section of the review highlights bottlenecks and potential solutions for successful implementation of the nutrient removal technologies. It is anticipated that the review will offer an instructive overview of the progress in nutrient removal and recovery technologies and will illustrate necessity of further investigations for development of efficient nutrient removal and recovery processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113246
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
StatePublished - Oct 15 2021


  • Denitrification
  • Domestic wastewater
  • Nitrification
  • Nutrient removal
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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