Nitrogen Pollution Originating from Wastewater and Agriculture: Advances in Treatment and Management

Muhammad Usman*, Muhammad Sanaullah, Aman Ullah, Shun Li, Muhammad Farooq*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Nitrogen pollution in the environment has become a global concern. Being multidimensional and complex, nitrogen pollution requires a comprehensive package of efforts for its effective management. This article reviews the existing technologies for the treatment and management of nitrogen pollution, water soluble or gaseous, originating from wastewater and agriculture. In the wastewater section, technologies for the wastewater treatment as well as the recovery of nitrogen are reviewed, including physico-chemical and biological techniques. Hybrid treatments could combine the strengths of these strategies to enhance nitrogen removal in wastewater. Moreover, the use of solid wastes to develop efficient adsorbents for nitrogen recovery from wastewater and their subsequent valorization in agricultural soils can be highly rewarding. The agriculture-associated nitrogen pollution can be addressed by the effective management of nitrogenous fertilizers, soils, and crops and the adoption of conservation agriculture practices. It is crucial to improve nitrogen use efficiency in crop production to tackle the challenges of climate change, food security, and environmental degradation. The breeding of crop genotypes possessing an improved nitrogen efficiency and engineering the legume symbiosis can be quite helpful for this. Future research directions have been recognized to foster the research into sustainable management of nitrogen. Collaborative efforts and a comprehensive understanding of existing knowledge of these techniques are required to upscale these techniques for field-scale applications. By presenting a detailed overview of strategies for nitrogen treatment and management in wastewater and agriculture, this article intends to enable a better understanding on this theme.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9
JournalReviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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