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Start-Up of a Bench Scale Nitritation/Anammox MBBR to Treat Centrate from the Wards Island Waste Water Treatment Plant in NYC

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A 4L bench scale reactor containing 37.5% fill of Kaldnes K1 media (reactor effective biofilm surface area = 0.75m2) has been in operation since August 2008 with the aim of removing ammonia from a high strength ammonia stream. This reject stream, called centrate, is generated during the dewatering of anaerobically digested sludge at the Wards Island Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) in New York City. The initial biomass for the reactor was activated sludge. The reactor achieved noticeable anaerobic ammonia oxidizing (anammox) activity after 200 days of operation. During startup, hydraulic retention time, intermittent aeration cycles and dilution of influent centrate were manipulated and controlled to select and promote growth of anammox bacteria in a single stage system. After the startup period aeration and ammonia loading were increased incrementally, increasing nitrogen removal from full strength centrate. For a hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 0.5 day, bulk liquid dissolved oxygen (DO) between 2-4 mg/L, and a temperature of 33°C, the reactor consistently achieved an average ammonia-N removal rate and removal efficiency of 3.2 g/m2/d and 66%, respectively, without addition of supplemental alkalinity or organic carbon.

Keywords: MBBR; Nitritation; anammox; centrate; nitrogen removal

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2010-01-01

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