Evaluating the suitability of granular anammox biomass for nitrogen removal from vegetable tannery wastewater

David Gabriel, Cecilia Polizzi, Tommasso Lotti, Alex Ricoveri, Gualtiero Mori, Giulio Munz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In the present study, the potential inhibitory effect of biologically pre-treated vegetable tannery wastewater (TW) on anammox granular biomass was evaluated. Beside high organic and chemicals load, vegetable TW are characterised by high salinity and high tannins concentration, the latter belonging to a group of bio-refractory organic compounds, potentially inhibitory for several bacterial species. Recalcitrant tannin-related organic matters and salinity were selected as the two potential inhibitory factors and studied either for their separate and combined effect. Parallel batch tests were performed, with biomass acclimated and non-acclimated to salinity, testing three different conditions: non-saline control test with non-acclimated biomass (CT); saline control test with acclimated biomass (SCT); vegetable tannery wastewater test with acclimated biomass (TWT). Compared with non-saline CT, the specific anammox activity in tests SCT and TWT showed a reduction of 28 and 14%, respectively, suggesting that salinity, at conductivity values of 10 mS/cm (at 25 °C), was the main impacting parameter. As a general conclusion, the study reveals that there is no technical limitation for the application of the anammox process to vegetable TW, but preliminary biomass acclimation as well as regular biomass activity monitoring is recommended in case of long-term applications. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work assessing the impact of vegetable TW on anammox biomass.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-262
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2023


  • Anammox granular biomass
  • Vegetable tannery wastewater
  • Salinity
  • Tannins
  • Inhibition
  • Nitrogen removal


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