ANAMMOX-process: anaerobic nitrogen degradation

The alternative towards conventional nitrification/denitrification in wastewater treatment plants

The ANaerobic AMMonium OXidation (ANAMMOX)-process enables the anaerobic degradation of nitrogen compounds. Compared to the conventional, cost-intensive nitrification/denitrification, in the ANAMMOX-process ammonium is transformed to molecular nitrogen under anaerobic conditions. As an expert for microbiological analyses of wastewater, vermicon offers the analysis of the responsible bacteria for the ANAMMOX-process.

During the conventional biological nitrogen elimination in wastewater, in the first step of nitrification ammonium is oxidised into nitrite by ammonium oxidisers. In the second step the formed nitrite is oxidised to nitrate by nitrite oxidising bacteria. During the multistage denitrification process nitrate is reduced to molecular nitrogen. vermicon AG offers services to detect ammonium- and nitrite oxidisers as well as denitrifying bacteria for integrated monitoring of the nitrogen degradation in wastewater treatment plants.

Energy saving and reducing of carbon dioxide emission with ANAMMOX

With the ANAMMOX-process a completely different route is taken compared to the conventional nitrification/denitrification. Special ANAMMOX-bacteria arrange that the ammonium is not oxidised to nitrite like in the aerobic process but that it is transformed into molecular nitrogen under anaerobic conditions. Implementing this process aeration costs can be reduced drastically in wastewater treatment plants (60%). Moreover, anaerobic transformation of ammonium consumes carbon dioxide. So, additionally to cost-saving the emission of carbon dioxide can be reduced for nearly 90%.

Special bacteria are responsible for the ANAMMOX-process

The ANAMMOX-process requires an adequate process management and the establishment of certain ANAMMOX-bacteria in the reactor. These bacteria which are named Brocadia, Scalindua or Kuenenia, have nothing in common with usual nitrifying bacteria. Nevertheless they have to be colonised in an adequate number for stabilising the whole process. Just this start-up-process of an ANAMMOX-plant can be technologically difficult. Moreover microbiological control was nearly impossible so far. Controlling the bacteria in situ, that means directly at their site of action, offers the key advantage for an optimal monitoring and controlling of the process. With vermicon's VIT®-gene probe technology, ANAMMOX bacteria are identified and quantified directly in the sludge sample. Thus the stabilisation of the process is extensively facilitated.

vermicon's wastewater package

Such as in all wastewater processes which are microbially induced the following fact is also valid for the ANAMMOX-process: The control of the microbiological parameters has to take place directly in the sample. Conventional culturing methods are not only insufficient but fail completely in wastewater. With a wide range of innovative services for wastewater vermicon AG is able to perfectly analyse the different microbial processes and to support the process management decisively. This innovative monitoring creates a completely new and efficient type of plant control.

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