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Enrichment of anammox biomass during mainstream wastewater treatment driven by achievement of partial denitrification through the addition of bio-carriers


Yongzhen Peng , Yuqing Ma , Bo Wang , Xiaodi Li , Shuo Wang , Wen Wang

DOI:10.1016/j.jes.2023.03.002

Received January 10, 2023,Revised , Accepted March 01, 2023, Available online March 11, 2023

Volume 36,2024,Pages 181-194

Anammox is widely considered as the most cost-effective and sustainable process for nitrogen removal. However, how to achieve the enrichment of anammox biomass remains a challenge for its large-scale application, especially in mainstream wastewater treatment. In this study, the feasibility of enrichment of anammox biomass was explored through the realization of partial denitrification and the addition of bio-carriers. By using ordinary activated sludge, a sequencing batch reactor (SBR) followed by an up-flow anaerobic sludge bed (UASB) was operated at 25 ± 2°C for 214 days. The long-term operation was divided into five phases, in which SBR and UASB were started-up in Phases I and II, respectively. By eliminating oxygen and adjusting the inflow ratios in Phases III-V, advanced nitrogen removal was achieved with the effluent total nitrogen being 4.7 mg/L and the nitrogen removal efficiency being 90.5% in Phase V. Both in-situ and ex-situ activity tests demonstrated the occurrence of partial denitrification and anammox. Moreover, 16S rRNA high-throughput sequencing analysis revealed that Candidatus Brocadia was enriched from below the detection limit to in biofilms (0.4% in SBR, 2.2% in UASB) and the floc sludge (0.2% in SBR, 1.3% in UASB), while Thauera was mainly detected in the floc sludge (8.1% in SBR, 8.8% in UASB), which might play a key role in partial denitrification. Overall, this study provides a novel strategy to enrich anammox biomass driven by rapid achievement of partial denitrification through the addition of bio-carriers, which will improve large-scale application of anammox processes in mainstream wastewater treatment.

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