An UASB-Anammox reactor was operated for more than one year to study the process performance variations respond to the nitrogen loading rate (NLR) and substrate concentration. The IC10 (451.1 mg/L), IC50 (725.3 mg/L) and the prospected threshold of influent total nitrogen (TN) concentration were simulated. A stable TN removal efficiency was obtained when the TN influent was controlled. The disequilibrium distribution of the substrate following the plug flow with the height of the reactor resulted in significant variations in specific Anammox activity from the bottom to the top of the reactor (348 → 3 mgN/gVSS/d). With long term acclimation, the nitrogen removal capacity of Anammox sludge varied significantly, with the most activated sludge obtained in the bottom part a 100 times capacity greater than that of the top. A stable performance with high removal efficiency in the constructed UASB-Anammox reactor was obtained when the influent TN concentration was below 451.1 mg/L.
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