Improved nitrogen removal by application of new nitrogen-cycle bacteria

Mike S. M. Jetten, Markus Schmid, Ingo Schmidt, Mariska Wubben, Udo van Dongen, Wiebe Abma, Olav Sliekers, Niels Peter Revsbech, Hubertus J. E. Beaumont, Lars Ottosen, Eveline Volcke, H. J. Laanbroek, Jose Luis Campos-Gomez, Jeff Cole, Mark van Loosdrecht, Jan Willem Mulder, John Fuerst, David Richardson, Katinka van de Pas, Ramon Mendez-PampinKatie Third, Irina Cirpus, Rob van Spanning, Annette Bollmann, Lars Peter Nielsen, Huub op den Camp, Carl Schultz, Jens Gundersen, Peter Vanrolleghem, Marc Strous, Michael Wagner, J. Gijs Kuenen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

87 Citations (Scopus)


In order to meet increasingly stringent European discharge standards, new applications and control strategies for the sustainable removal of ammonia from wastewater have to be implemented. In this paper we discuss a nitrogen removal system based on the processes of partial nitrification and anoxic ammonia oxidation (anammox). The anammox process offers great opportunities to remove ammonia in fully autotrophic systems with biomass retention. No organic carbon is needed in such nitrogen removal system, since ammonia is used as electron donor for nitrite reduction. The nitrite can be produced from ammonia in oxygen-limited biofilm systems or in continuous processes without biomass retention. For successful implementation of the combined processes, accurate biosensors for measuring ammonia and nitrite concentrations, insight in the complex microbial communities involved, and new control strategies have to be developed and evaluated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-63
Number of pages13
JournalReviews in Environmental Science and Biotechnology
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Ammonium
  • Anammox
  • Denitrification
  • Nitrification
  • Nitrite
  • Planctomycetales

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