Interaction of anammox bacteria and inactive methanogenic granules under high nitrogen selective pressure

Shou Qing Ni, Anania Fessehaie, Po Heng Lee, Bao Yu Gao, Xing Xu, Shihwu Sung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Granular anammox reactors usually adopted anaerobic/aerobic granules as source sludge, in which the washout of other species and enrichment of anammox biomass were very slow because of the competition of the coexisting bacteria. In this study, inactive methanogenic granules were proved to be suitable for rapid anammox granulation under high nitrogen concentrations by investigating their interaction with anammox bacteria. The start-up nitrite concentration was significantly higher than the published toxic level for anammox bacteria and other lab-scale studies. The nitrogen loading rate increased from 141 to 480 mg/L/d in 120 days operation with a total nitrogen removal efficiency of 96.0 ± 0.6%. Anammox granules with a diameter of 1.3 ± 0.4 mm were observed over the course of three months. Molecular analysis showed that over 67% of the cells in the anammox granules were anammox bacteria after 90 days. The accommodations and proliferations of anammox bacteria in the inactive methanogenic granules might be the main reason for the high anammox purity in a short period. The important role of the extracellular polymer in the granule structure was observed via morphological observation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6910-6915
Number of pages6
JournalBioresource Technology
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Anammox
  • Granulation
  • High nitrogen concentration
  • Inactive methanogenic granule
  • Real-time PCR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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