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Success of mainstream partial nitritation/anammox demands integration of engineering, microbiome and modeling insights
- Agrawal, Shelesh, Seuntjens, Dries, Cocker, Pieter De, Lackner, Susanne, Vlaeminck, Siegfried E
- Current opinion in biotechnology 2018 v.50 pp. 214-221
- anaerobic ammonium oxidation, engineering, microbial competition, microbiome, microorganisms, models, municipal wastewater, nitrogen, organic carbon, oxygen, research and development, resource management, sewage treatment, sowing, synergism
- Twenty years ago, mainstream partial nitritation/anammox (PN/A) was conceptually proposed as pivotal for a more sustainable treatment of municipal wastewater. Its economic potential spurred research, yet practice awaits a comprehensive recipe for microbial resource management. Implementing mainstream PN/A requires transferable and operable ways to steer microbial competition as to meet discharge requirements on a year-round basis at satisfactory conversion rates. In essence, the competition for nitrogen, organic carbon and oxygen is grouped into ‘ON/OFF’ (suppression/promotion) and ‘IN/OUT’ (wash-out/retention and seeding) strategies, selecting for desirable conversions and microbes. Some insights need mechanistic understanding, while empirical observations suffice elsewhere. The provided methodological R&D framework integrates insights in engineering, microbiome and modeling. Such synergism should catalyze the implementation of energy-positive sewage treatment.