Novel honeycomb-like carriers, made of polypropylene, were applied to enhance biomass retention capacity so as to improve Anammox start-up performance in a fixed bed reactor (FBR). The reactor was operated for 3 months. On day 45, Anammox activity appeared. After 61 days' operation, the removal efficiencies of ammonium and nitrite were both over 91% based on 70 mg N L−1 of the influent ammonium and influent nitrite, indicating that a remarkable Anammox activity was attained. A final specific Anammox activity of 0.12 g NH4+-N gVSS−1 d−1 was reached (VSS: volatile suspended solids). The FBR showed a good capacity for resisting shock loading and was more able to resist shock loading of nitrogen concentration than resist hydraulic shock loading. Phylogenetic analysis showed that Candidatus Brocadia anammoxidans' and Candidatus Kuenenia stuttgartiensis' were detected in the mature biofilm, and Candidatus Brocadia anammoxidans' was the dominant Anammox strain. Candidatus Kuenenia stuttgartiensis' played a positive role in the reactor performance, as it could consumed nitrite quickly and efficiently so as to avoid an adverse effect of temporary nitrite accumulation. The results showed that the honeycomb-like carriers were suitable for start-up of Anammox.

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