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Microbial ecology dynamics of a partial nitritation bioreactor with Polar Arctic Circle activated sludge operating at low temperature

Rodriguez-Sanchez, Alejandro, Muñoz-Palazon, Barbara, Hurtado-Martinez, Miguel, Maza-Marquez, Paula, Gonzalez-Lopez, Jesus, Vahala, Riku, Gonzalez-Martinez, Alejandro
Chemosphere 2019 v.225 pp. 73-82
Trichosporonaceae, Xanthomonadaceae, activated sludge, ammonia, ammonium, biomass, bioreactors, cold, cold zones, granules, inoculum, microbial communities, nitrification, temperature, wastewater, wastewater treatment, Arctic region, Scandinavia
A lab-scale partial nitritation SBR was operated at 11 °C for 300 days used for the treatment of high-ammonium wastewater, which was inoculated with activated sludge from Rovaniemi WWTP (located in Polar Arctic Circle) in order to evaluate the influence the temperature on the performance, stability and dynamics of its microbial community. The partial nitritation achieved steady-state long-term operation and granulation process was not affected despite the low temperature and high ammonia concentration. The steady conditions were reached after 60 days of operation where the granular biomass was fully-formed and the 50%–50% of ammonium-nitrite effluent was successful achieved. Inoculation with cold adapted inoculum showed to yield bigger, denser granules with faster start-up without necessity of low temperature adaptation period. Next-generation sequences techniques showed that Trichosporonaceae and Xanthomonadaceae were the dominant OTUs in the mature granules. Our study could be useful in the implementation of full-scale partial nitritation reactors in cold regions such as Nordic countries for treating wastewater with high concentration of ammonium.