In this study, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) gel beads were used to aid the partial nitrification and anammox process (PN/A) for treating low-strength ammonia wastewater. When treating synthetic and municipal wastewater, the reactor amended with PVA gel beads achieved a total nitrogen removal efficiency of 75.1 ± 8.4% and 66.6 ± 7.0% respectively, while the control reactor without PVA gel beads achieved 63.2 ± 7.8% and 28.2 ± 11.5% respectively. Dissolved oxygen (<0.5 mg O2 L−1) and substrate diffusion in porous PVA gel beads facilitated the formation of microbial stratification in the gel beads. Unclassified Candidatus Brocadiaceae (major anammox bacteria) and Ignavibacterium (major ammonia oxidizing bacteria) enriched in the inside and outside layers of PVA gel beads, which benefited the synergetic cooperation of these bacteria and protecting them from environmental fluctuations. This study provides a promising solution for achieving a reliable PN/A process in mainstream wastewater treatment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Waste Management and Disposal