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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Florence, South Carolina » Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Conservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #224313

Title: Development of a new generation low cost treatment of ammonia for livestock effluents using anammox and nitritation

item Vanotti, Matias
item Szogi, Ariel

Submitted to: Recycling of Agricultural Municipal and Industrial Residues
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/15/2008
Publication Date: 6/11/2008
Citation: Kunz, A., Steinmetz, R., Vanotti, M.B., Szogi, A.A., Soares, H.M. 2008. Development of a new generation low cost treatment of ammonia for livestock effluents using anammox and nitritation. p. 255-258. In: Proceedings of Recycling of Agricultural Municipal and Industrial Residues (RAMIRAN) 13th International Conference, June 2008, Albena, Bulgaria.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Excess ammonia in livestock production is a global problem, and the use of conventional biological nitrogen (N) removal methods is expensive. We developed a new generation, low cost treatment system suitable for high ammonia livestock effluents that is based on the anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) pathway coupled with partial nitritation. The research was carried out at Embrapa Poultry and Swine Center in Concordia, Brazil, and USDA-ARS in Florence, SC, and involved three phases: 1) development of anammox cultures suitable for treatment of high-strength animal wastewater; 2) development of approaches to couple the anammox process with a nitrite producing module to provide a total system for bio-treatment of N; and 3) construction and testing of prototypes to optimize the system and provide recommendations. During the first phase of the research, we successfully isolated novel anammox bacteria from natural sludges in swine farms in North Carolina and Brazil. The red biomass was enriched using customized reactors with biomass carriers of various fiber materials designed to enhance retention of microorganisms. Under these conditions and new protocol, it took about 75 days for the anammox reaction to develop from the farm sludges. During the second phase, we investigated partial nitritation using the inhibition of free ammonia and free nitric acid without hig process temperatures, which is the most effective technique for treatment of high concentrations of ammonium in wastewater. The nitritation culture was successfully developed using attachment growth in polymer gel carriers and fluidized continuous reactors that allowed the study of conditions that maximize rate of N conversion and nitrite production. In the third phase of the research, prototypes were seeded with the anammox rich sludge. Removal of NO2- and NH4+ at typical stoichiometric ratios of the anammox reaction occurred immediately. The N removal rates obtained were exceptionally high compared to conventional N removal systems. As much as 2 kg N/m3/day was removed using the anammox based approach. The total system nitritation-anammox prototypes is being studied using swine wastewater. These findings overall may lead to development of more economical treatment systems for livestock wastewater that will promote sustainable livestock production and benefit the environment.