Project #5095

Mainstream Deammonification with Biological Phosphorus Removal

In Progress
Research Manager
Miriam Hacker, PhD
Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR)


This project seeks to further the prevention and control of harmful algal blooms (HABs) by improving full-scale applications of shortcut nitrogen removal processes at water resource recovery facilities (WRRFs). Specifically, the project will focus on increasing nitrite availability for anaerobic ammonium oxidizing bacteria (anammox) in mainstream systems via partial denitrification. A truly novel added dimension of this work is to incorporate partial denitrification anammox (PdNA) into well-known process configurations and integrating it with enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) to achieve resource-efficient nitrogen and phosphorous removal. This research focuses on closing several key knowledge gaps and developing guidance and communication tools for utilities and design engineers that will facilitate widespread adoption of PdNA at a time where many utilities are considering WRRF upgrades reduce nutrient discharges.

This $1 million project, When a Detour Becomes a Shortcut: Going Full-Scale with Partial Denitrification/Anammox as an Alternative Strategy for Mainstream Deammonification and Incorporating Biological Phosphorus Removal, is a collaboration of work and tasks being conducted by Brown and Caldwell, Columbia University, George Washington University, Hampton Roads Sanitation District, and Northwestern University. Research partner: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Three journal papers about this project have been published in Water Environment Research: "Startup strategies for mainstream anammox polishing in moving bed biofilm reactors," "Full-scale transition from denitrification to partial denitrification–anammox (PdNA) in deep-bed filters: Operational strategies for and benefits of PdNA implementation," and "Nitrogen removal capacity and carbon demand requirements of partial denitrification/anammox MBBR and IFAS processes."