Toluene-nitrite inhibition synergy of anaerobic ammonium oxidizing (anammox) activity

Sergio Martínez Hernández, Wenjie Sun, Reyes Sierra-Alvarez, Jim A. Field

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Anammox process is emerging as a promising biotechnology to remove ammonium (NH4+) from wastewater. Co-existing organic matters such as toluene could pose potential inhibitions on this process. In this study, the mechanisms of toluene-nitrite (NO2-) inhibition synergy of anammox activity (AA) was investigated in batch culture. In results, the AA (mmolN2-NLliquid-1h-1) in reference assays achieved values of 0.21 ± 0.0078. The toluene (0.1-3.0 mM) demonstrated different inhibitory effects on the AA and caused 50% inhibition (IC50) at 0.79 mM. The pre-exposure to toluene and NO2- or NO 2- alone in the absence of NH4+ demonstrated a much severer inhibition, compared to toluene alone. The IC 50 of the AA due to pre-exposure to NO2- lacking NH4+ was of 6.25 mM NO2-. These results indicated that toluene by itself did not severely inhibit the anammox process but did so in the presence of NO2-.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)926-930
Number of pages5
JournalProcess Biochemistry
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - May 2013


  • Anammox
  • Anammox activity
  • Batch assay
  • Inhibition synergy
  • Nitrite
  • Toluene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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