Anammox (AMXTM)

The New Normal in Wastewater Treatment

Anammox (Anaerobic Ammonium Oxidation) is today’s most advanced biological treatment method for removing nitrogen from wastewater streams - minimizing operation costs, saving energy, and improving overall efficiency at wastewater treatment facilities.

Tomorrow Water’s two-stage nitrogen removal process (AMXTM + BBFTM) combines the anammox (AMXTM) process with our proprietary biofiltration (BBFTM), providing the optimal wastewater treatment solution.


What is Anammox?

Today’s Most Advanced Nitrogen Removal Solution

The Anammox process is an elegant shortcut in the natural nitrogen cycle.

Our Anammox process involves a specific species of autotrophic bacteria (Candidatus “Brocadia sinica” JPN1) to achieve partial nitritation-deammonification (the conversion of ammonia and nitrite to nitrogen gas) under anoxic conditions. Anammox bacteria work alongside ammonia-oxidizing bacteria under partial aerobic/partial anoxic conditions to ultimately convert ammonia to nitrogen gas without fully nitrifying and denitrifying. A key benefit of the anammox process is the reduction of nitrogen that is recycled back to the liquid stream without the need for supplemental carbon or alkalinity.

Additional benefits include lower energy consumption and less required oxygen compared to conventional nitrification.


Why Anammox?

Compared to conventional nitrification/denitrification (NDN), the AMX+BBF sidestream process provides the following superior benefits:


The Most Efficient Anammox Bacteria - Candidatus “Brocadia sinica”


Tomorrow Water is the only water treatment technology company authorized to use Candidatus “Brocadia sinica” JPN1, which is known to be the most efficient anammox bacteria. The original enrichment of Candidatus “Brocadia sinica” JPN1 occurred at Hokkaido University in Japan by Professor Satoshi Okabe. Tomorrow Water has since acquired the rights to the specific anammox strain.


Compared to other strains of Anammox, Candidatus “Brocadia sinica” JPN1 demonstrates higher growth rates and higher nitrogen removal rates. Plus, our two-stage AMX+BBF nitrogen removal process provides the optimum solution for nutrient removal and recovery.

Figure. Microbial community structure of the AMX BBF at JWPCP. This is based on the amplicon sequencing targeting 16S rRNA genes. 

Figure. Microbial community structure of the AMX BBF at JWPCP. This is based on the amplicon sequencing targeting 16S rRNA genes. 

The link provides Krona chart to demonstrate a progressive increase in Candidatus Brocadia over the pilot operation.


Versatile Applications:

  •    Mainstream (Municipal) 
  •    Sidestream (Municipal)
  •    Livestock wastewater


Innovative process options overcome common challenges to Anammox applications:

  •    Single stage / Two-Stage configuration
  •    Hybrid process scheme with combined sidestream and mainstream
  •    Suspended and attached growth (i.e. MBR (PN) + BBF (A))

We work closely with our clients to achieve and maintain optimal process controls to ensure the retention of AOBs and Anammox bacteria while eliminating NOBs - guaranteeing efficient and reliable operations.


Challenges to Anammox Application


  • High organic carbon promotes dominance of fast-growing heterotrophic microorganisms
  • Anammox bacteria’s inability to compete results in system instability


  • Converting half of ammonia content to nitrite is essential to establish anammox activity
  • Stable partial nitritation is a key component of the Anammox process


  • Low growth rate – Doubling time of anammox bacteria is as slow as 10 days
  • Temperature – Mesophilic (30-35°C) is optimal while lower ranges result in activity loss
  • Nitrite concentration – Susceptible to excessive nitrite levels

Overcoming Anammox Challenges

Anammox Challenge Tomorrow Water AMXTM Solution
Carbon Inhibition Removing organic carbon prior to the Anammox process by BBF
Preventing growth of heterotrophs protects Anammox bacteria.
Partial Nitritation Multiple configuration options ensure stable partial nitritation at various influent characteristics
2-stage & single stage partial Nitritation + Anammox
Biological Sensitivity Strict nitrite monitoring protects Anammox bacteria now
BKT devotes continuous R&D efforts towards technology convergence (i.e. DNA editing technology (CRISPR-cas9))
Seeking to develop advanced Anammox bacteria with greater resistance to low temperature and higher growth rates

Partial Nitritation Options

AGR + AMX Process

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LED Nitritation Process

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Photo-Granule Nitritation Process

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Mainstream Anammox

Sidestream Anammox


Upcoming Pilot Tests

Hyperion Treatment Plant | Los Angeles, California

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Daejeon Municipal Treatment Plant | Daejeon, South Korea


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