Structure and composition of biofilm communities in a moving bed biofilm reactor for nitritation-anammox at low temperatures.
Journal article, 2014
It is a challenge to apply anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) for nitrogen removal from wastewater at low temperatures. Maintenance of anammox- and aerobic ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and suppression of nitrite oxidizing bacteria (NOB) are key issues. In this work, a nitritation-anammox moving bed biofilm pilot reactor was operated at 19-10°C for 300d. Nitrogen removal was decreasing, but stable, at 19-13°C. At 10°C removal became unstable. Quantitative PCR, fluorescence in situ hybridization and gene sequencing showed that no major microbial community changes were observed with decreased temperature. Anammox bacteria dominated the biofilm (0.9-1.2×10(14) 16S rRNA copies m(-2)). Most anammox bacteria were similar to Brocadia sp. 40, but another smaller Brocadia population was present near the biofilm-water interface, where also the AOB community (Nitrosomonas) was concentrated in thin layers (1.8-5.3×10(12) amoA copies m(-2)). NOB (Nitrobacter, Nitrospira) were always present at low concentrations (<1.3×10(11) 16S rRNA copies m(-2)).