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Increased salinity improves the thermotolerance of mesophilic anammox consortia

Zhang, Zheng-Zhe, Ji, Yu-Xin, Cheng, Ya-Fei, Xu, Lian-Zeng-Ji, Jin, Ren-Cun
The Science of the total environment 2018 v.644 pp. 710-716
acclimation, ambient temperature, anaerobic ammonium oxidation, bioreactors, heat tolerance, nitrogen, salinity, sludge, sodium chloride
While the application of anammox-based process for mesophilic sidestream treatment is at present the state of the art and mainstream treatment at ambient temperature is also in development, the feasibility of thermophilic anammox process is still unclear. This study investigated the effects of salinity on the thermotolerance of mesophilic anammox sludge. In batch activity tests, 45 °C seems to be the critical temperature for the tolerance of mesophilic anammox consortia without acclimatization or amendments. The optimal anammox activity at 40, 42.5, and 45 °C can be achieved with the amendment of salt at 5–8, 8–10, and ~12 g NaCl L−1, respectively. However, this improvement effect was limited at 50 °C or when the shock duration was longer than 24 h even at 45 °C. In continuous-flow bioreactors, mesophilic anammox consortia could gradually adapt to 40–50 °C under a transition of 2.5 °C, and the performance was enhanced by an increase in salinity, which may be associated with the increase in extracellular polymeric substances. A nitrogen removal rate of 0.53 kgN m−3 d−1 was finally obtained at 50 °C. Overall, these interesting results facilitate further opportunities for thermophilic anammox process.