Enrichment of denitrifying methanotrophic bacteria for application after direct low-temperature anaerobic sewage treatment

C. Kampman, T.L.G. Hendrickx, F. Luesken, T.A. Alen, M.S.M. Jetten, H.J.M. op den Camp, G. Zeeman, C.J.N. Buisman, B.G. Temmink

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123 Citations (Scopus)


Despite many advantages of anaerobic sewage treatment over conventional activated sludge treatment, it has not yet been applied in temperate zones. This is especially because effluent from low-temperature anaerobic treatment contains nitrogen and dissolved methane. The presence of nitrogen and methane offers the opportunity to develop a reactor in which methane is used as electron donor for denitrification. Such a reactor could be used in a new concept for low-temperature anaerobic sewage treatment, consisting of a UASB-digester system, a reactor for denitrification coupled to anaerobic methane oxidation, and a nitritation reactor. In the present study denitrifying methanotrophic bacteria similar to ‘Candidatus Methylomirabilis oxyfera’ were enriched. Maximum volumetric nitrite consumption rates were 33.5 mg NO2--N/L d (using synthetic medium) and 37.8 mg NO2--N/L d (using medium containing effluent from a sewage treatment plant), which are similar to the maximum rate reported so far. Though the goal was to increase the rates, in both reactors, after reaching these maximum rates, volumetric nitrite consumption rates decreased in time. Results indicate biomass washout may have significantly decelerated enrichment. Therefore, to obtain higher volumetric consumption rates, further research should focus on systems with complete biomass retention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-171
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • uasb-digester system
  • waste-water
  • ammonium oxidation
  • methane oxidation
  • denitrification
  • reactor


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