Evaluation of anammox pathway recovery after high COD loading using water quality, molecular biology and isotope labelling analysis
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Anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) pathway is sensitive to organic matter, and its recovery requires reliable evidence regarding the dominance of anammox in N-removal. This study showed that the anammox process deteriorated, with N-removal efficiencies rapidly decreasing from 87.2 to 45.7% when reactors were exposed to COD shocks of 1.12, 2.24 and 3.36 g L−1 (COD/N ratio 2, 4 and 6). Comprehensive assessments of water quality, microbial characteristics and isotope analysis were adopted to investigate anammox recovery. Operational performance took 8–20 days to recover; anammox relative abundance recovered after 20 days, based on the results of fluorescence in situ hybridisation and quantitative PCR; and the anammox pathway contributed to 80.0–91.5% of N-loss 40 days after COD shock terminated, based on the results of the isotope labelling experiment. Therefore, a complete recovery required 40 days. The isotope labelling method supplied a reliable reference for recovery assessment of anammox system in real-world applications.
KeywordsOrganic carbon shock Recovery of anammox system Denitrification 15N isotope-labelling method
This research was financially supported by the Chinese-Japanese Research Cooperative Program (Grant No. 2016YFE0118000), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51208491) and the Frontier Research Projects of IUE-CAS (Grant No. IUEMS201404).
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interest.
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