Quantitative and qualitative studies of microorganisms involved in full-scale autotrophic nitrogen removal performance

Barbara Muñoz-Palazon, Alejandro Rodriguez-Sanchez, Antonio Castellano-Hinojosa, Jesus Gonzalez-Lopez, Mark C.M. van Loosdrecth, Riku Vahala, Alejandro Gonzalez-Martinez*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Autotrophic nitrogen removal systems have been implemented at full-scale and provide an efficient way for nitrogen removal from industrial and urban wastewaters. Our study present qualitative and quantitative analysis of archaeal and bacterial amoA genes and Candidatus Brocadiales bacteria analyzed in six full-scale autotrophic nitrogen removal bioreactors. The results showed that ammonium oxidizing bacteria (AOB) were detected in all bioreactors. However, ammonium oxidizing archaea (AOA) were detected only in the non-aerated technologies. Conversely, different Candidatus Brocadiales phylotypes appeared due to differences in influent wastewater composition and hydraulic retention time (HRT). In the same terms multivariate redundancy analysis confirmed that AOA was positively correlated with temperature, ammonium concentration and low HRT. However, AOB population was positively correlated with pH, temperature, and dissolved oxygen concentration. Our data suggested a correlation between the microorganisms involved in the nitrogen removal performance and the operational conditions in the different full-scale bioreactors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-467
Number of pages11
JournalAIChE Journal
Issue number2
Early online date2017
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • AmoA
  • Anammox
  • Archaea
  • Bacteria
  • Full-scale
  • Nitrogen removal


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