Anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) has been studied extensively while no widely accepted optimum values for nitrite (both a substance and inhibitor) has been determined. In the current paper, nitrite spiking (abruptly increasing nitrite concentration in reactor over 20 mg NO2-NL−1) effect on anammox process was studied on three systems: a moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR), a sequencing batch reactor (SBR) and an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB). The inhibition thresholds and concentrations causing 50% of biomass activity decrease (IC50) were determined in batch tests. The results showed spiked biomass to be less susceptible to nitrite inhibition. Although the values of inhibition threshold and IC50 concentrations were similar for non-spiked biomass (81 and 98 mg NO2-NL−1, respectively, for SBR), nitrite spiking increased IC50 considerably (83 and 240 mg NO2-NL−1, respectively, for UASB). As the highest total nitrogen removal rate was also measured at the aforementioned thresholds, there is basis to suggest stronger limiting effect of nitrite on anammox process than previously reported. The quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis showed similar number of anammox 16S rRNA copies in all reactors, with the lowest quantity in SBR and the highest in MBBR (3.98 × 108 and 1.04 × 109 copies g−1 TSS, respectively).

You do not currently have access to this content.