A one-stage airlift internal circulation biofilm reactor was continuously operated for 668 days to treat 50 mg/L of ammonia wastewater to pursue the long-term stability of partial nitritation and anammox (PNA) process. The operational performance and microbial community structure of the biofilm and the flocs were investigated. A nitrogen removal efficiency (NRE) of 70% was obtained successfully at a dissolved oxygen (DO) of 0.05–0.15 mg/L by regulating aeration rate. The microbial analysis indicated Candidatus Brocadia (29.5%) and Nitrosomonas (6.8%) were dominant in both biofilms and flocs. It was found that DO control and aeration rate were the key factors in performance stability, and a stable performance could be recovered and maintained under oxygen-limiting conditions. Further, the achievement of activated ammonia oxidation bacteria (AOB), dominated anammox bacteria (AMX), suppressed NOB, and controlled heterotrophic bacteria (HB) in the biofilms played a major role in the long-term stable operation.
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