PMID: 14550941Oct 11, 2003Paper

New concepts of microbial treatment processes for the nitrogen removal in wastewater

FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Ingo SchmidtMarc Strous


Many countries strive to reduce the emissions of nitrogen compounds (ammonia, nitrate, NOx) to the surface waters and the atmosphere. Since mainstream domestic wastewater treatment systems are usually already overloaded with ammonia, a dedicated nitrogen removal from concentrated secondary or industrial wastewaters is often more cost-effective than the disposal of such wastes to domestic wastewater treatment. The cost-effectiveness of separate treatment has increased dramatically in the past few years, since several processes for the biological removal of ammonia from concentrated waste streams have become available. Here, we review those processes that make use of new concepts in microbiology: partial nitrification, nitrifier denitrification and anaerobic ammonia oxidation (the anammox process). These processes target the removal of ammonia from gases, and ammonium-bicarbonate from concentrated wastewaters (i.e. sludge liquor and landfill leachate). The review addresses the microbiology, its consequences for their application, the current status regarding application, and the future developments.


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