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Achieving Partial Nitritation in Anammox Start-Up Environment

Department of Process, Energy and Environmental Technology, University of South-Eastern Norway, 3918 Porsgrunn, Norway
Biowater Technology AS, 3115 Tønsberg, Norway
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Alexandre T. Paulino
Water 2022, 14(2), 229;
Received: 26 November 2021 / Revised: 5 January 2022 / Accepted: 10 January 2022 / Published: 13 January 2022
Removing ammonium via the partial nitritation anammox (PNA) process has been widely applied because of its cost and energy effectiveness. However, the first stage of PNA, partial nitritation, is hard to implement practically due to the challenging suppression of nitrate oxidizing bacteria (NOB) and should be achieved in the anammox environment to extend it to one stage PNA. Hence, this article evaluates different techniques, such as the combination of low dissolve oxygen (DO) and high free ammonia (FA), and the intermittent aeration cycle to achieve partial nitritation in an anammox start-up environment. For this purpose, a 10.5 L lab-scale moving bed biofilm reactor was set up and fed with synthetic wastewater and the transformation of influent ammonium into nitrate and nitrite was measured. The results showed that, despite applying low DO and higher free ammonia than the inhibition range of NOB, the nitrate production rate (NPR) was consistently higher than the nitrite accumulation rate (NAR), signifying no sufficient NOB suppression, partial nitritation under continuous aeration and up to a 0.27 gN/m2·d surface ammonium loading rate (SALR). Higher SALR than 0.27 gN/m2·d could result in partial nitritation since nitrogen compounds transformation was closer to partial nitritation when the reactor was subjected to 0.27 gN/m2·d rather than 0.14 gN/m2·d. Lifting up the SALR, on the other hand, results in a bad anammox environment and cannot prolong it to one-stage PNA. An intermittent aeration cycle with four different cycle lengths sets, obtained by monitoring nitrogen compound transformation, was, therefore, applied to the reactor. The relatively shorter aerobic length of 10 min ON and 30 OFF intermittent aeration cycle with 0.5 mg/L aerated DO was successful in achieving the partial nitritation with NPR, NAR, and ammonium removal efficiency (ARE) values of 17%, 78%, and 37%, respectively, showing that shorter aerated length suppresses NOB to a high degree due to less available time for NOB after oxygen starvation. View Full-Text
Keywords: partial nitritation; dissolve oxygen; intermittent aeration cycle; anammox partial nitritation; dissolve oxygen; intermittent aeration cycle; anammox
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pathak, S.; Wang, S.; Janka, E. Achieving Partial Nitritation in Anammox Start-Up Environment. Water 2022, 14, 229.

AMA Style

Pathak S, Wang S, Janka E. Achieving Partial Nitritation in Anammox Start-Up Environment. Water. 2022; 14(2):229.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pathak, Sabin, Shuai Wang, and Eshetu Janka. 2022. "Achieving Partial Nitritation in Anammox Start-Up Environment" Water 14, no. 2: 229.

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