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Exploring the maximum nitrite production rate through the granular sludge-type reactor to match the needs of anammox process realizing efficient nitrogen removal.

The reliable and efficient nitrite production rate (NPR) through nitritation process is the prerequisite for the efficient running of subsequent processes, like the anammox process and the nitrite shunt. However, there has been scant research on stable and productive nitritation process in recent years. In this study, at a stable hydraulic retention time of 12.0 h and with precise and strict DO control, the upper limit of the NPR was initially investigated using a continuous-flow granular sludge reactor. The NPR of 1.69 kg/m3 /d with a nitrite production efficiency of 81.97% was finally achieved, which set a record until now in similar research. The median sludge particle size of 270.0 μm confirmed the development of clearly defined granular sludge. The genus Nitrosomonas was the major ammonium oxidizing bacteria. In conclusion, this study provides valuable insights for the practical application of the effective nitritation process driving subsequent nitrogen removal processes.

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