One-stage partial nitritation and anammox in membrane bioreactor

Xiaowu Huang*, Kaihang Sun, Qiaoyan Wei, Kohei Urata, Yuki Yamashita, Nian Hong, Takehide Hama, Yasunori Kawagoshi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Partial nitritation and anammox (PN/A) was applied in a lab-scale membrane bioreactor (MBR) to investigate its technical feasibility for treating ammonium-rich wastewater with low C/N ratio. The bacterial community was analyzed by molecular cloning and 16S rRNA sequence analysis. Partial nitritation (PN) was first realized in MBR by seeding aerobic activated sludge. With dissolved oxygen control, a steady effluent mixture with NO2 -N/NH4 +-N ratio of 1.13 ± 0.08 was generated from the PN process. Subsequently, the MBR was seeded with anammox biomass on day 59. After running 300 days, the one-stage PN/A achieved a maximum nitrogen removal rate of 1.45 kg N/m3/day at the nitrogen removal efficiency of 89.5 %. Microbial community analysis revealed that Nitrosomonas sp. HKU and Nitrosospira sp. YKU corresponded to nitritation; meanwhile, Candidatus Brocadia TKU sp. accounted for nitrogen removal of the PN/A system. Specifically, Nitrosomonas sp. were enriched in the reactor at the PN/A phase and then conquered Nitrosospira sp. to be the predominant ammonia oxidizers. Nitrite oxidizers and denitrifiers were detected in symbiosis with aforementioned microbes. Denitrification promised potential plus nitrogen depletion. The present one-stage PN/A process allows a significant decrease in operational costs compared with classical nitrification/denitrification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11149-11162
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Anammox
  • Membrane bioreactor
  • Nitrogen removal
  • Partial nitritation


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