Use of anammox for a more efficient nitrogen removal in wastewater treatment plants

Start date 01/01/2011
End date The project is closed: 31/12/2013

​The overall aim of this project is to enable increased use of bacteria capable of anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) for improved nitrogen removal from wastewater with regard to removal efficiency, energy usage and carbon footprint. Anammox bacteria oxidize ammonium with nitrite to nitrogen gas. Anammox bacteria do not use organic matter to obtain energy as opposed to denitrifying bacteria, which are conventionally used for nitrogen removal at wastewater treatment plant (WWTPs). With anammox-based processes more of the organic carbon in wastewater can be used for energy production (e.g. biogas) and no organic carbon has to be added for nitrogen removal. The combined effect of this and the decreased need for aeration can make WWTPs net energy producers, instead of energy consumers as with the conventional treatment. Furthermore, the carbon footprint will decrease substantially.

In order to increase the use of anammox-based processes, more knowledge is required about the physiology and ecology of anammox bacteria in the wastewater environment. In this project, process engineering is combined with molecular microbial ecology in bench- and pilot scale investigations to develop new operation strategies.


The project is carried out at the Division of Water Environment Technology.

Keywords: Anammox, nitrogen removal, wastewater treatment, microbiology

Project members
Britt-Marie Wilén
Project members
Britt-Marie Wilén
Frank Persson
Britt-Marie Wilén
External partners at the project
​Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan, Stockholm
Göteborgs Universitet
Lunds Tekniska Högskola
VA- Syd
Chalmers Areas of Advance
​Built Environment
​​FORMAS, Svenskt Vatten Utveckling, Carl Tryggers stiftelse för vetenskaplig forskning

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Oct 2013.