Experience from start-ups of the first ANITA Mox Plants

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ANITA™ Mox is a new one-stage deammonification Moving-Bed Biofilm Reactor (MBBR) developed for partial nitrification to nitrite and autotrophic N-removal from N-rich effluents. This deammonification process offers many advantages such as dramatically reduced oxygen requirements, no chemical oxygen demand requirement, lower sludge production, no pre-treatment or requirement of chemicals and thereby being an energy and cost efficient nitrogen removal process. An innovative seeding strategy, the ‘BioFarm concept’, has been developed in order to decrease the start-up time of new ANITA Mox installations. New ANITA Mox installations are started with typically 3–15% of the added carriers being from the ‘BioFarm’, with already established anammox biofilm, the rest being new carriers. The first ANITA Mox plant, started up in 2010 at Sjölunda wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in Malmö, Sweden, proved this seeding concept, reaching an ammonium removal rate of 1.2 kgN/m3 d and approximately 90% ammonia removal within 4 months from start-up. This first ANITA Mox plant is also the BioFarm used for forthcoming installations. Typical features of this first installation were low energy consumption, 1.5 kW/NH4-N-removed, low N2O emissions, <1% of the reduced nitrogen and a very stable and robust process towards variations in loads and process conditions. The second ANITA Mox plant, started up at Sundets WWTP in Växjö, Sweden, reached full capacity with more than 90% ammonia removal within 2 months from start-up. By applying a nitrogen loading strategy to the reactor that matches the capacity of the seeding carriers, more than 80% nitrogen removal could be obtained throughout the start-up period.

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