Performance and bacterial community structure in three autotrophic submerged biofilters operated under different conditions

María J. García-Ruiz*, Paula Maza-Márquez, Alejandro González-Martínez, Elena Campos, Jesús González-López, Francisco Osorio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Autotrophic nitrogen removal was evaluated in three bench-scale bioreactors filled with Filtralite. This configuration is an alternative to the conventional technologies for nitrogen removal. One of the main problems associated with these new technologies, based on anammox (anaerobic ammonium oxidation) processes, is the stability of biomass. In this research the bioreactors' performance and stability of the bacterial community were studied under the following conditions: dissolved oxygen (0.3-1.5mg O2 L-1), influent N-NH4 + concentration 246mgL-1, and different NO2 --N concentrations (106.5, 30 and 0mg NO2 --NL-1). RESULTS: Total nitrogen removal efficiencies were 80.78% and 92% for bioreactors operated under microaerobic conditions (less than 1.5mg O2 L-1) and 30 and 0mg NO2 --NL-1, respectively. Bioreactors attained maximum efficiency after about 80days. In contrast, the total nitrogen removal efficiency was only 69.57% for the bioreactor operated under anoxic conditions and 106.5mg NO2 --NL-1, but maximum efficiency was achieved after approximately 30days. The presence of oxygen increased the relative abundance of ammonium-oxidizing bacteria, which reached 6% in bioreactors with a low dissolved oxygen concentration. The relative abundance of Candidatus Brocadia remained stable in all bioreactors. CONCLUSIONS: The results showed that nitrite and anoxic conditions led to quicker start-up of a single reactor process during the initial days of operation. The combination of quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) and Illumina sequencing revealed that the operational conditions changed the bacterial community structure. The relative abundance of Candidatus Brocadia remained stable in all bioreactors, whereas significant differences were detected for Nitrosomonas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2429-2439
JournalJournal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology
Volume93
Issue number8
Early online date2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Anammox biotechnology
  • Biofilter technology
  • Illumina sequencing
  • Microbial ecology
  • Nitrogen removal
  • Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS)
  • QPCR

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