Institute of Functional Interfaces

Response of different Nitrospira species to anoxic periods depends on operational DO

  • chair:

    Gilbert, E. / Agarwal, S. / Brunner, F. / Schwartz, T. / Horn, H. / Lackner, S. (2014)

  • place:

    Environ. Sci. Techn. 48 (2014), 5, 2934-2941

  • Date: 2014


The exploitation of a lag phase in nitrate production after anoxic periods is a promising approach to suppress nitrite oxidizing bacteria, which is crucial for implementation of the combined partial nitritation-anammox process. An in-depth study of the actual lag phase in nitrate production after short anoxic periods was performed with varied temperatures and air flow rates. In monitored batch experiments, biomass from four different full-scale partial nitritation-anammox plants was subjected to anoxic periods of 5-60 min.

Ammonium and the nitrite that was produced were present to reproduce reactor conditions and enable ammonium and nitrite oxidation at the same time. The lag phase observed in nitrite oxidation exceeded the lag phase in ammonium oxidation after anoxic periods of more than 15-20 min. Lower temperatures slowed down the conversion rates but did not affect the lag phases. The operational oxygen concentration in the originating full scale plants strongly affected the length of the lag phase, which could be attributed to different species of Nitrospira spp. detected by DGGE and sequencing analysis.