Distribution and characterization of anammox in a swine wastewater activated sludge facility

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Anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) is a novel biological nitrogen removal process that oxidizes NH4+ to N2 with NO2 as an electron acceptor. The purpose of this study was to examine the potential activity and characteristics of anammox in a conventional swine wastewater treatment facility, which uses an activated sludge system consisting of three cascade aeration tanks equipped with ceramic support material. Anammox activity was estimated by a 15N tracer assay method and was detected in all the sludge and biofilm samples in each aeration tank. Biofilm taken from the third aeration tank, in which the dissolved oxygen concentration was 7.5 mg/L and the wastewater included a high concentration of NO3, showed by far the highest anammox activity. A clone library analysis showed the existence of anammox bacteria closely related to ‘Candidatus Jettenia asiatica’ and ‘Ca. Brocadia caroliniensis’. The optimum conditions for anammox activity were a pH of 6.7–7.2, a temperature of 35 °C, a NO2 concentration of 10 mmol/L or less, and an NH4+ concentration of 32 mmol/L or less.

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