Low-Temperature Adapted Nitrifying Microbial Communities of Finnish Wastewater Treatment Systems
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Nitrogen removalActivated sludgeAmmonium oxidizing bacteriaNitrogen oxidizing bacteriaLow temperature
Kruglova, A., Kesulahti, J., Minh Le, K., Gonzalez-Martinez, A., Mikola, A., & Vahala, R. (2020). Low-Temperature Adapted Nitrifying Microbial Communities of Finnish Wastewater Treatment Systems. Water, 12(9), 2450. [doi:10.3390/w12092450]
SponsorshipFinnish Water Utilities Association (VVY)
In this study, the microbial community of nitrifying activated sludge adapted to Finnish climate conditions was studied to clarify the microbial populations involved in low-temperature nitrification. Microbial community analysis of five full-scale wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) showed several di erences compared to WWTPs from other countries with a similar climate. In particular, very low abundance of ammonium oxidizing bacteria (AOBs) (altogether < 0.25% of total community) as well as typical NOBs (<0.35%) and a high abundance of orders Cytophagales and Micrococcales was observed in all Finnish WWTPs. To shed light on the importance of autotrophic and heterotrophic nitrifying processes, laboratory studies of activated sludge were carried out with a presence of and a lack of organic carbon in wastewater at 10 1 C. Two di erent sludge retention times (SRTs) were compared to determine the e ect of this operational parameter on low-temperature nitrogen removal. The important role of previously reported Candidatus Nitrotogaarctica for nitrite oxidizing in cold climate conditions was confirmed in both full-scale and laboratory scale results. Additionally, potential participation of Dokdonella sp. and Flexibacter sp. in nitrogen removal at low-temperatures is proposed. Operation at SRT of 100 days demonstrated more stable and e cient nitrogen removal after a sharp temperature decrease compared to 14 days SRT.