The anammox process is a potential alternative to the conventional nitrogen removal from wastewater. However, due to large generation times of anammox bacteria, the start-up of treatment reactors may be impeded. An efficient storage technique can handle this drawback and may be also suitable for seasonally operated treatment plants like in touristic areas. In the current study, several storage techniques were investigated with respect to its suitability for the preservation of the specific anammox activity after long-term storage. Storing conditions differed in terms of temperature, redox buffer and nutrient supplementation. The specific activity of immobilized anammox bacteria (Candidatus Kuenenia stuttgartiensis) was determined three times during a long-term preservation of 78 days and 106 days, respectively. The highest activity was ensured at a storing temperature of 4 °C, providing nitrate as redox buffer and a nutrient supplement every 23 days. Thus, 91.4% of the initial anammox activity could be preserved after a storage of 106 days. Superiority of the presented treatment condition was confirmed by a calculated nitrate-ammonium consumption rate close to the optimal ratio of 1.32. This technique provided an economical and simple method suitable for long-term storage of immobilized anammox biomass.

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