Combination of ion exchange and partial nitritation/Anammox process for ammonium removal from mainstream municipal wastewater

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In this study, a new technology of nitrogen removal from mainstream municipal wastewater is proposed. It is based on ammonium removal by ion exchange and regeneration of ion exchange material with 10–30 g/L NaCl solution with further nitrogen removal from spent regenerant by partial nitritation/Anammox process. Influence of regenerant strength on performance of ion exchange and biological parts of the proposed technology was evaluated. Moreover, the technology was tested in batch mode using pretreated municipal wastewater, strong acid cation (SAC) resin and partial nitritation/Anammox biomass. It was shown that with ion exchange it is possible to remove 99.9% of ammonium from wastewater while increasing the concentration of ammonium in spent regenerant by 18 times. Up to 95% of nitrogen from spent regenerant, produced by regeneration of SAC resin with 10 g/L NaCl solution, was removed biologically by partial nitritation/Anammox biomass. Moreover, the possibilities of integration of the technology into municipal wastewater treatment technology, and the challenges and advantages are discussed.

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