Optimization of DEMON® Sidestream Treatment and Potential for Anammox Mainstream Bioaugmentation

Date of Award

Fall 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil & Environmental Engineering


Environmental Engineering

Committee Director

Gary Schafran

Committee Director

Charles Bott

Committee Member

Peter Pommerenk

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.E542 N54 2013


Anaerobically digested sludge dewatering liquors (e.g. centrate) can represent 15-25% of the total kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN) load on a typical municipal waste water treatment plant (WWTP). Sidestream nitrogen removal has been demonstrated to be an effective tool for improving nitrogen removal performance and reliability with a savings in aeration energy, chemicals (supplemental alkalinity and carbon), and sludge production.

Deammonification, partial nitritation by ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) combined with anaerobic ammonium oxidation (AMX or anammox), provides near complete nitrogen removal with a 65% reduction in energy and 100% reduction in supplemental carbon and alkalinity requirements as compared to traditional nitrification-denitrification. The DEMON® treatment process is one available sidestream deammonification treatment process which is a single step deammonification system in which both partial nitritation and AMX occur in the same tank, operated similar to a typical sequencing batch reactor (SBR) with intermittent aeration and intermittent feeding throughout the reactor cycle.

The DEMON® was installed in existing SBR tanks that were part of a decommissioned water reuse system. The DEMON® installation at York River was the first in North America and the first full-scale anammox process of any type, while over 40 full-scale systems are currently being operated in Western Europe.

The DEMON® has reached stable 80-90% ammonia removal (70-80% TN) to date and provided insight to establish startup procedures for successful and efficient DEMON implementation in North America.

The effect of temperature shock and long-term exposure to reduced temperatures on AMX activity was studied. This research aims to demonstrate that AMX activity is maintained at lower temperatures and quantify the reduction in activity over temperature decline by developing an Arrhenius coefficient for AMX. The experimental design attempted to replicate the temperature changes anticipated in a mainstream bioaugmentation process, both long-term exposure and short-term exposure (temperature shock) to decreased temperature and the ability of AMX to acclimate and recover from these temperature exposures.

This study suggests that acclimation will help mitigate the effects of activity loss at lower temperatures and that AMX is able to fully and quickly recover activity loss after temperature shock.


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