Anammox-based Technologies for Sustainable Mainstream Wastewater Treatment: Process Development, Microbial Ecology and Mathematical Modeling

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Virginia Tech


The nitritation-anammox process is an efficient and cost-effective approach for biological nitrogen removal, but its application in treating mainstream wastewater remains a great challenge. The key objectives of this dissertation are to develop nitritation-anammox process to treat wastewater with low-nitrogen strength, understand the fundamental microbiology, and optimize its operation through experimental studies and mathematic modeling. Chapter 2 showed that the nitritation-anammox process has been successfully developed in an upflow membrane-aerated biofilm reactor, where pure oxygen was delivered via gas-permeable membrane module. Chapter 3 demonstrated that hybrid anaerobic reactor (HAR) could be an effective pretreatment method to provide a relatively low COD/N ratio for nitritation-anammox reactor. In Chapter 4, a novel mathematical model has been proposed to evaluate the minimum DO requirement for the nitritation-anammox reactor to achieve the maximum TN removal under various COD/N scenarios (controlled by HRTHAR). Chapters 5 and 6 designed an OsAMX system by linking nitritation-anammox to forward osmosis to remove the reverse-fluxed ammonium while using ammonium bicarbonate as a draw solute. The microbial community structures and dynamics, spatial distributions in these bioreactors were characterized by high-throughput sequencing and fluorescent in situ hybridization techniques. The studies in this dissertation have demonstrated that nitritation-anammox process is a promising alternative for sustainable mainstream treatment with the appropriate pretreatment approach and operation optimization.



Mainstream nitritation-anammox, anaerobic pretreatment, granule, COD/N ratio, microbial community, model simulation, forward osmosis