Startup of reactors for anoxic ammonium oxidation: Experiences from the first full-scale anammox reactor in Rotterdam

Wouter R.L. van der Star, Wiebe R. Abma, Dennis Blommers, Jan Willem Mulder, Takaaki Tokutomi, Marc Strous, Cristian Picioreanu, Mark C.M. van Loosdrecht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1096 Scopus citations


The first full-scale anammox reactor in the world was started in Rotterdam (NL). The reactor was scaled-up directly from laboratory-scale to full-scale and treats up to 750 kg-N/d. In the initial phase of the startup, anammox conversions could not be identified by traditional methods, but quantitative PCR proved to be a reliable indicator for growth of the anammox population, indicating an anammox doubling time of 10-12 days. The experience gained during this first startup in combination with the availability of seed sludge from this reactor, will lead to a faster startup of anammox reactors in the future. The anammox reactor type employed in Rotterdam was compared to other reactor types for the anammox process. Reactors with a high specific surface area like the granular sludge reactor employed in Rotterdam provide the highest volumetric loading rates. Mass transfer of nitrite into the biofilm is limiting the conversion of those reactor types that have a lower specific surface area. Now the first full-scale commercial anammox reactor is in operation, a consistent and descriptive nomenclature is suggested for reactors in which the anammox process is employed. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4149-4163
Number of pages15
JournalWater Research
Issue number18
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Generated from Scopus record by KAUST IRTS on 2022-09-13

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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