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Assessment of the positive effect of salinity on the nitrogen removal performance and microbial composition during the start-up of CANON process


In this study, a non-woven rotating biological contactor reactor was operated for the start-up of completely autotrophic nitrogen removal over nitrite (CANON) process. In this perfectly attached growth system, nitrite oxidizing was identified, which interfered with the nitrogen removal performance. Batch tests indicated that 10 g NaCl per liter salinity was a preferable definite level to stand out ammonium-oxidizing activity and anammox activity, and selectively suppress nitrite-oxidizing activity under oxygen-limited conditions. Reactor operation showed that the maximum TN removal rate was increased from 425 mg N l−1 day−1 to 637 mg N l−1 day−1 after the addition of 10 g NaCl per liter salinity on analogous technological parameters. Microbiological community analysis revealed that bacteria strains similar to the genus Nitrospira sp. were specialized nitrite oxidizers existing in CANON reactor, which were then eliminated under salinity exposure for their no salinity-tolerant relative. However, anammox bacteria belonging to Planctomycetes and some aerobic ammonium oxidizers belonging to Nitrosomonas could be highly enriched under this oxygen-limited salinity conditions. Salinity-contained high ammonium wastewater will be so considered as suitable influent for CANON process in further industrial application.

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We would like to thank Professor Kenji Furukawa for kindly supplying the anammox bacteria in Faculty of Engineering, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan.

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Correspondence to Fenglin Yang.

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Liu, S., Yang, F., Gong, Z. et al. Assessment of the positive effect of salinity on the nitrogen removal performance and microbial composition during the start-up of CANON process. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 80, 339 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-008-1536-9

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  • Anammox
  • Salinity
  • Oxygen-limited
  • Nitrospira