Planctomycetes are specialized anaerobic bacteria that convert ammonium nitrogen directly into elemental nitrogen using nitrite.
First, a partial nitration of the NH4 takes place. Then the anaerobic nitrite oxidation is completed. In summary, the transformation takes place in the following way:

NH4+ + 1.32 NO2- + 0.066 HCO3- + 0.13 H+

→ 0.26 NO3- + 1.02 N2 + 0.066 CH2O0.5N0.15 + 2.03 H2O

Autotrophic organisms complete the process, which means that no CO2 is produced but instead it is consumed.
Compared to conventional nitrification/denitrification only 40% aeration energy is consumed; no organic carbon is needed. Instead of producing CO2, CO2 is consumed. The process saves resources and relieves the environment.
The main challenge in using Planctomycetes for deammonification is suppression of the nitrate-forming bacteria which are competing for the available nitrate with the Planctomycetes and do grow much faster (factor 10-15).
Due to the significantly higher density, however, the slowly growing AMOX can be enriched by means of a hydrocyclone and the nitrate formers can be flushed out at the same time.
The Planctomycetes are also referred to as AMOX. This term stands for anaerobic AmMonium OOidizing bacteria.

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