Recent developments of the mainstream anammox processes: Challenges and opportunities

Hoang Phuc Trinh, Sang Hoon Lee, Garam Jeong, Hyeokjun Yoon, Hee Deung Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


Anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) processes are gaining attention owing to their advantages over the conventional biological nitrogen removal processes. Although technologies related to sidestream anammox processes are being adopted as the latest advanced solutions, the application of these processes to mainstream wastewater is still under investigation. Here, we have comprehensively reviewed the challenges and opportunities of mainstream anammox processes. Mainstream processes face a variety of challenges that limit their stable operation such as the difficulty of out-selection of nitrite-oxidizing bacteria, high organic carbon to nitrogen (C/N) ratio, retention of anammox bacteria, and the influence of high concentrations of ammonia and nitrite compounds. For widespread applications of mainstream anammox processes in full-scale reactors in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), efficient strategies are necessary to manage high carbon to nitrogen ratios, improve performance in low-intensity wastewater, and retain anammox bacteria. Key elements in the design, operation, and maintenance of mainstream anammox processes in full-scale WWTPs are also suggested. Overall, this review provides a critical perspective on the challenges and opportunities associated with mainstream anammox processes, which will be of use to researchers and engineers in future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105583
JournalJournal of Environmental Chemical Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Aug

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Biological Resources (NIBR), funded by the Ministry of Environment (MOE) of South Korea ( NIBR202019102 ) and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) (NRF- 2020R1A6A1A03045059 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox)
  • Autotrophic nitrogen removal
  • Deammonification
  • Mainstream applications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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