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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 469360, 10 pages
Review Article

Anaerobic Ammonium Oxidation: From Laboratory to Full-Scale Application

School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Shandong University, Jinan 250100, China

Received 10 May 2013; Accepted 14 June 2013

Academic Editor: Ana Moldes

Copyright © 2013 Shou-Qing Ni and Jian Zhang. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


From discovery in the early 1990s to completion of full-scale anammox reactor, it took almost two decades to uncover the secret veil of anammox bacteria. There were three milestones during the commercialization of anammox: the development of the first enrichment culture medium, the completion of the first commercial anammox reactor, and the fast start-up of full-scale anammox plant. Till now, the culture of anammox bacteria experienced a big progress through two general strategies: (a) to start up a reactor from scratch and (b) to seed the reactor with enriched anammox sludge. The first full-scale anammox reactor took 3.5 years to realize full operation using the first approach due to several reasons besides the lack of anammox sludge. On the other hand, the first Asian anammox reactor started up in two months, thanks to the availability of anammox seed. Along with the implementation of anammox plants, anammox eventually becomes the priority choice for ammonium wastewater treatment.