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In-situ ammonia removal by methanogenic granular biomass


Methanogenic grannules from sewage-fed 298-day old UASB reactor having high abundance of Nitrospira sp. were evaluated for simultaneous methanogenesis and nitrification. Batch experiments were conducted under anaerobic and oxygen limited condition using either 0.04% (v/v) methanol (C) or ammonium chloride (30-100 mg N/L) (N) or both (N+C). Results showed that C-utilization preceded N-utilization in N+C sets indicating methanogenesis was independent of ammonia removal. Ammonia removal with nitrate generation under oxygen-limited condition confirmed nitrification potential of methanogenic grannule. However, under anaerobic conditions, decrease in ammonium nitrogen did not result in stoichiometric increase in nitrite & nitrate concentrations. Further, hydrogenotrophic methanogens disappeared in N & N+C sets. H2-mediated denitrification could possibly atrribute for disappearance of both nitrite or nitrate and hydrogenotrophic methanogens. Increase in Methanosaetaceae compensated for methane production via acetoclastic route. Thus, simultaneous nitrification & H2-mediated denitrification was confirmed as the plausible route for ammonia removal in methanogenic granules under anaerobic condition. This finding of in-situ ammonia removal in methanogens has opened new avenues for treating C/N wastewaters.

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Publication details

The article was received on 25 Oct 2017, accepted on 12 Feb 2018 and first published on 12 Feb 2018

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7EW00444C
Citation: Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol., 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    In-situ ammonia removal by methanogenic granular biomass

    S. Saha, J. De Vrieze, R. Biswas and T. Nandy, Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol., 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7EW00444C

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