Simultaneous nitrogen removal and phosphorus recovery using an anammox expanded reactor operated at 25 °C

Haiyuan Ma, Yi Xue, Yuanfan Zhang, Takuro Kobayashi, Kengo Kubota, Yu You Li

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59 Citations (Scopus)


While anammox is a cost-effective nitrogen treatment process for wastewater with high nutrient strength, phosphorus remains untouched during this process and needs further treatment. In this study, the nitrogen removal and phosphorus recovery were achieved simultaneously at 25 °C using an anammox expanded bed. A stable high nitrogen removal efficiency of 83.7 ± 4.8% at a 1500 mgN/L influent total nitrogen concentration and a phosphorus removal efficiency of 94.2 ± 1.2% at 100 mg P/L influent total phosphorus were obtained during continuous operation. The effects of the nitrogen loading rate, hydraulic retention time (HRT), pH, Ca2+ and PO43- concentration on the phosphorus removal was verified in the long-term operation of the reactor. The sludge produced contained a high content of phosphorus mainly in the form of hydroxyapatite (HAP), and the sludge composition strongly reflected the nitrogen and phosphorus loading. The structure of the anammox-HAP composite granules was illustrated by the use of fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and Raman spectroscopic mapping analysis. The results in this study indicate that by controlling the operation parameters, it is possible to integrate a high efficiency phosphorus recovery with the anammox process, and significantly reduce the nutrient loading for further wastewater treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115510
JournalWater Research
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Apr 1


  • 25 °C
  • Anammox
  • Expanded bed reactor
  • HAP
  • Phosphorus recovery


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