Experimental plant for the physical-chemical treatment of groundwater polluted by Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) leachate, with ammonia recovery

Massimo Raboni, Vincenzo Torretta, Paolo Viotti, Giordano Urbini


The paper documents the results of the experimental treatment of groundwater (flow rate: 300 m3 h-1) polluted by the leachate of an old MSW landfill (7 million tonnes) in northern Italy. The process consists of a coagulation-flocculation pre-treatment at pH > 11, and subsequent ammonia stripping, after heating the water to 35-38 °C by means of the biogas produced by the landfill. The stripped ammonia was recovered by absorption with sulfuric acid, producing a 30% solution of ammonium sulfate, which was reused as a base fertilizer. In addition, the paper reports important operational aspects related to the scaling of the stripping tower’s packing and its effect on pH and temperature profiles inside the towers caused by the closed loop, which recirculates the stripping air coming from the ammonia absorption towers with sulfuric acid. The average removal efficiency of ammonia reached 95.4% with an inlet mean concentration of 199.0 mg L-1.


ammonia-stripping, landfill leachate, aquifer reclamation

Revista Ambiente & Água. ISSN:1980-993X  DOI:10.4136/1980-993X



Filiada à ABEC: