High nitrogen removal performance at moderately low temperature utilizing anaerobic ammonium oxidation reactions

Kazuichi Isaka*, Tatsuo Sumino, Satoshi Tsuneda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

180 Citations (Scopus)


High rates of nitrogen removal from wastewater have been reported using anammox bacteria at temperatures around 37°C, but not at moderately low temperatures. In this study, nitrogen removal performance of an anaerobic biological filtrated (ABF) reactor, filled with porous polyester nonwoven fabric carriers as a fixed bed for anammox bacteria, was tested at 37°C and at moderately low temperature (20-22°C). To attain higher nitrogen removal performance, effects of influent nitrogen concentrations and hydraulic retention time (HRT) on nitrogen removal rates were investigated. Nitrogen removal rate increased with influent ammonium and nitrite concentrations, resulting in a removal rate of 3.3 kg-N/m3/d on day 32 for an HRT of 180 min at 37°C. However, influent nitrite concentrations greater than 280 mg/l inhibited anammox activity. Therefore, the influent nitrite concentration was adjusted to be below 280 mg/l, and high-loading tests were performed for a shorter HRT. As a result, a nitrogen conversion rate of 11.5 kg-N/m3/d was achieved. Moreover, to evaluate long-term anammox activity at moderately low temperatures, ABF reactors were operated for 446 d. Anammox activity could be maintained at 20-22°C, and stable nitrogen removal performance was observed. Furthermore, high nitrogen conversion rate of 8.1 kg-N/m3/d was attained. These results clearly show that an appropriate nitrite concentration in the influent and a shorter HRT resulted in high nitrogen conversion rates. The nitrogen removal performance we obtained at moderately low temperatures will open the door for application of anammox processes to many types of industrial wastewater treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)486-490
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Bioscience and Bioengineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2007 May


  • ammonium
  • anaerobic
  • anammox
  • nitrite
  • nitrogen removal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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