Deammonification is known as an efficient and resource saving sidestream process option to remove the nitrogen load from sludge liquors. The transfer of the intermediate product nitrite between both syntrophic groups of organisms – aerobic and anaerobic ammonia oxidizers (AOB) – appears very sensitive to process conditions such as temperature, dissolved oxygen (DO) and operating nitrite level. Growth kinetics for aerobic and anaerobic AOBs differ by one order of magnitude and require an adequate selection of sludge retention time. This paper provides measurement- and model-based results on how selected sludge wasting impacts population dynamics in a suspended growth deammonification system. Anammox enrichment up to a doubled portion in mixed liquor solids can substantially improve process stability in difficult conditions. A case-study on low temperature operations outlines two possible strategies to balance syntrophic consumption of ammonium and nitrite.

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