Deammonification refers to the anaerobic elimination of ammonium to elemental nitrogen by using nitrite.
Shown here as simplified equation: NH4++ NO2- → N2 + 2 H2O
Planctomycetes are the key bacterial group responsible for this elimination. They are a specialized form of anaerobic autotrophic organisms. CO2 functions as the carbon source for these bacteria.

Deammonification is of considerable interest to wastewater treatment as it can maximally shorten the traditional process of nitrogen elimination (nitrification / denitrification). Thus, avoiding the complete oxidation of ammonium via nitrite and nitrate. This results in substantial savings of consumables (60% energy savings, no organic carbon required).

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Simplified depiction of deammonification.
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