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Sinks and sources of anammox bacteria in a wastewater treatment plant - screening with qPCR
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center. Purac AB, Box 1146, Lund, SE-221 05, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8869-6513
Institute for Sanitary Engineering and Waste Management (ISAH), Leibniz Universitaet Hannover, Germany.
Institute for Sanitary Engineering and Waste Management (ISAH), Leibniz Universitaet Hannover, Welfengarten 1, Hannover, 30167, Germany.
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3311-9465
2018 (English)In: Water Science and Technology, ISSN 0273-1223, E-ISSN 1996-9732, Vol. 78, no 2, p. 441-451Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The deammonification process, which includes nitritation and anammox bacteria, is an energyefficient nitrogen removal process. Starting up an anammox process in a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) is still widely believed to require external seeding of anammox bacteria. To demonstrate the principle of a non-seeded anammox start-up, anammox bacteria in potential sources must be quantified. In this study, seven digesters, their substrates and reject water were sampled and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) was used to quantify both total and viable anammox bacteria. The results show that mesophilic digesters fed with nitrifying sludge (with high sludge ages) can be classified as a reliable source of anammox bacteria. Sludge hygienization and dewatering of digestate reduce the amount of anammox bacteria by one to two orders of magnitude and can be considered as a sink. The sampled reject waters contained on average >4.0 × 104 copies mL1 and the majority of these cells (>87%) were viable cells. Furthermore, plants with side-stream anammox treatment appear to have higher overall quantities of anammox bacteria than those without such treatment. The present study contributes to the development of sustainable strategies for both startup of anammox reactors and the possibility of improving microbial management in WWTPs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IWA Publishing , 2018. Vol. 78, no 2, p. 441-451
Keywords [en]
Anaerobic ammonium oxidizing bacteria (anammox), Digestion, Full-scale, QPCR, Reject water treatment, Start-up strategy, Anaerobic digestion, Bacteria, Nitrogen removal, Polymerase chain reaction, Seed, Sewage pumping plants, Sludge digestion, Water treatment, Water treatment plants, ANAMMOX, Reject water treatments, Wastewater treatment
National Category
Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-40740DOI: 10.2166/wst.2018.318ISI: 000445517400020PubMedID: 30101779Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85052107611OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-40740DiVA, id: diva2:1246529
Available from: 2018-09-07 Created: 2018-09-07 Last updated: 2019-08-15Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Start-up and operational strategies for deammonification plants: - a study with one-stage moving bed biofilm reactors treating reject water
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Start-up and operational strategies for deammonification plants: - a study with one-stage moving bed biofilm reactors treating reject water
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

To limit eutrophication, wastewater treatment plants use biological methods to convert degraded nitrogen to nitrogen gas. Deammonification, or partial nitritation in combination with anammox, has been shown to be an energy efficient process. This process is currently implemented in approximately 150 full-scale plants, and mainly on reject waters, the liquid fraction after dewatering of anaerobic digestion at municipal wastewater treatment plants. Implementation has been impeded by the slow growth of anammox bacteria, and 99% of the full-scale plants using the process have been using different methods to inoculate the process with anammox bacteria from elsewhere. Separate reject water installations, however, have shown high nitrous oxide emissions, which could increase the total carbon footprint.

The objective of this thesis was to develop and validate a start-up concept using the moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) technique applied to reject water, and to investigate how the operational strategies could be optimized to limit potential nitrous oxide emissions. The results show that a one-stage deammonification process based on the MBBR technology with indigenous anammox bacteria originating from the reject water can be set up within a applicable time frame (<100 days). This was validated in two laboratory reactors and in two full-scale studies. Reject water originating from both mesophilic and thermophilic digested sludge was used. Anammox growth and nitrogen reduction were detected with fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and chemical analysis, respectively. The start-up time was 72 days in the laboratory and 120 days in full-scale. In laboratory scale, there was no improvement in start-up time when adding external anammox inoculum. Results from a screening study of seven reject waters and their content of anammox bacteria using qPCR indicated the presence of 104–105 genome units anammox per mL in reject water, which could be sufficient for starting up deammonification plants within an applicable time frame.

A final case study shows the potential of decreasing nitrous oxide emissions when a full-scale plant treating reject water was modified from nitrification/denitrification using a Sequencing Batch Reactor (SBR) to a deammonification process using the MBBR technique. The nitrous oxide emissions decreased from 10% to 0.1–0.7% of total nitrogen load with the change of operation mode. Further optimization by pH set point led to lower emission values. This effect is thought to be linked to the lower aeration ratio and increase in complete denitrification of dissolved nitrous oxide at higher pH.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University, 2019
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 290
National Category
Water Treatment
Research subject
Energy- and Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-43258 (URN)978-91-7485-427-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-06-10, Delta, Mälardalens högskola, Västerås, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Vinnova, 2015-02422
Available from: 2019-04-26 Created: 2019-04-26 Last updated: 2019-05-06Bibliographically approved

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