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Presence and Significance of Anammox spcs and Ammonia Oxidizing Archea, AOA, in Full Scale Membrane Bioreactors for Total Nitrogen Removal

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We obtained a unusually high affinity for oxygen in a nitrifying mixed culture population from a full scale membrane bioreactor that performs biological nitrogen and phosphorus removal treating domestic wastewater in New Jersey, USA. The calculated value for the half oxygen saturation coefficient was 0.01 mg/l, an order of magnitude lower than previously reported. We quantified the microbial population of nitrifiers in the system using molecular techmiques (qPCR) and observed that ammonia oxidizing archaea, AOA, were the dominant population. Anammox spcs were present but in insignificant numbers. We observed that partial denitrification was the dominant path for simultaneous nitrification denitrification in the system. The most likely source of electrons for nitrification is endogenous substrate. This allows significant savings in the amount of oxygen and carbon that is required for biological nutrient removal enabling energy efficient strategies for wastewater treatment.
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Keywords: AOA; Anammox; P-removal, Kinetics; Partial Nitrification; half saturation coefficient; low oxygen

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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