Development of a single-stage mainstream anammox process using a sponge-bed trickling filter

Takahiro Watari*, Carlos Lopez Vazquez, Masashi Hatamoto, Takashi Yamaguchi, Jules B. van Lier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
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Anaerobic ammonia oxidation to nitrogen gas using nitrite as the electron acceptor (anammox process) is considered a cost-effective solution for nitrogen removal after an anaerobic pre-treatment process. In this study, we conducted a laboratory-scale experiment to develop a single-stage partial nitritation–anammox process in a sponge-based trickling filter (STF) reactor, inoculated with anammox sludge, simulating the treatment of anaerobically pretreated concentrated domestic sewage without mechanical oxygen control. The influent ammonia concentration was 100 mg-N·L−1. The KLa of the STF reactor was higher than those observed for conventional activated sludge processes. The STF reactor performed at 89.8 ± 8.2% and 42.7 ± 16.9% ammonia and TN removal efficiency, respectively, with a nitrogen loading rate of 0.55 ± 0.20 kg-N·m−3·day−1 calculated based on sponge volume. Microbial community analysis of the STF-retained sludge indicated that both autotrophic and heterotrophic nitrogen removal occurred in the reactor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3036-3047
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Technology (United Kingdom)
Volume42 (2021)
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Autotrophic nitrogen removal
  • microbial community analysis
  • sponge-based trickling filter


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