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Title: Challenges of THP-AD centrate treatment using partial nitritation-anammox (PN/A) - inhibition, biomass washout, low alkalinity, recalcitrant and more
Authors: Cao, Shenbin
Yan, Wangwang
Yu, Lei
Zhang, Liang
Lay, Winson
Zhou, Yan
Keywords: Engineering::Environmental engineering
Issue Date: 2021
Source: Cao, S., Yan, W., Yu, L., Zhang, L., Lay, W. & Zhou, Y. (2021). Challenges of THP-AD centrate treatment using partial nitritation-anammox (PN/A) - inhibition, biomass washout, low alkalinity, recalcitrant and more. Water Research, 203, 117555-.
Journal: Water Research
Abstract: The centrate produced from a thermal hydrolysis pretreatment coupled anaerobic digestion (THP-AD) system is generally characterized by high concentrations of ammonium and recalcitrant organics. In this study, a cost-effective partial nitritation-anammox (PN/A) process was developed to evaluate the potential challenges in THP-AD centrate treatment. The results show ammonium oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and anammox bacteria were seriously inhibited by THP-AD centrate, while long-term acclimation together with aeration optimization can mitigate such inhibition. A nitrogen removal rate (NRR) of 0.55 kg N/m3/d was obtained and maintained with 60% THP-AD centrate as feed. However, 100% THP-AD centrate caused sludge wash-out from PN reactor due to excessive polymer and high solids in influent. The alkalinity deficit also reduced the AOB activity. Moreover, anammox activity and overall NRR also declined (to 0.37 kg N/m3/d). The organics transformation mainly occurred in PN reactor with very low removal efficiency due to their recalcitrant characteristics. The humic acid-like, fulvic acid-like substances and building blocks were revealed as the major organic compounds in THP-AD centrate (51.5-53.8% TOC), which likely contributed to the recalcitrant. Nitrosomonas and Candidatus Brocadia were the major AOB and anammox bacteria in the PN and anammox reactors respectively. With the increased THP-AD centrate proportion in the feed, the abundance of both population declined. Interestingly, Denitratisoma, being the major denitrifying bacteria in anammox reactor, had relatively stable abundance (7.0-7.9%) when THP-AD centrate was improved from 3 and 100%, suggesting the inhibition on anammox bacteria was not due to the overgrowth of denitrifying microorganism despite the high organics loading rate. Overall, this study provides a guide to develop the energy-saving PN/A process for THP-AD centrate treatment by pointing out potential challenges and mitigating strategies.
ISSN: 0043-1354
DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2021.117555
Schools: School of Civil and Environmental Engineering 
Research Centres: Advanced Environmental Biotechnology Centre (AEBC) 
Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute 
Rights: © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Fulltext Permission: none
Fulltext Availability: No Fulltext
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