Long-term operation of a partial nitritation pilot plant treating leachate with extremely high ammonium concentration prior to an anammox process

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The goal of this work was to demonstrate the feasibility of treating leachate with high ammonium concentrations using the SBR technology, as a preparative step for the treatment in an anammox reactor. The cycle was based on a step-feed strategy, alternating anoxic and aerobic conditions. Results of the study verified the viability of this process, treating an influent with concentration up to 5000 mg N-NH4+ L-1. An effluent with about 1500-2000 mg N-NH4+ L-1 and 2000-3000 mg N-NO2- L-1 was achieved, presenting a nitrite to ammonium molar ratio close to the 1.32 required by the anammox. Furthermore, taking advantage of the biodegradable organic matter, the operational strategy allowed denitrifying about 200 mg N-NO2- L-1. The extreme operational conditions during the long-term resulted on the selection of a sole AOB phylotype, identified by molecular techniques as Nitrosomonas sp. IWT514 ​
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