Project 6: Deammonification Wupperverband

Planning Realisation Monitoring Evaluation
Deammonification Wupperverband

The Kohlfurth waste water treatment plant is one of the large waste water treatment plants operated by the Wupperverband in Germany. The aim of the Wupperverband is to reach an energy self sufficient waste water treatment plant. One step towards this aim is the implementation of a new technique for the treatment of reject water. Reject water is an outcome from the dewatering of sludge and has a high ammonia concentration. The new process for the treatment of reject water is called partial nitritation combined with anoxic deammonification. In comparison with the normal reduction of ammonia to nitrogen (nitrification / denitrification) less energy and less carbon source is needed.

The new process is not very easy to handle, because the Annamox bacteria – a special bacteria species used for the purification – need special conditions for living. The new process can be implemented with different reactor types. At the Wupperverband we tested a membrane unit to accumulate the bacteria. An advantage of the membrane unit is that the concentration of bacteria is much higher and therefore also the purification efficiency. Waterboard Vallei & Eem also implemented the technique of partial nitritation combined with anoxic deammonification, using a different method. In Inners, both methods will be compared. This way Inners can gain from the experiences and expertise both partners to learn about creating a stable process.

Main questions to be answered

  • Is a membrane unit suitable for the deammonification process?
  • Estimation of the energy saving potential?


  • Implementation of a new technique called partial nitritation and anoxic deammonification process with membrane-technology for sidestream treatment.
  • The purification efficiency of the new technique will be estimated and compared with the results of Waterboard Vallei & Eem.
  • Assessment of sidestream treatment for energy self-sufficiency of sewage plants and estimation of the energy reduction potential.
  • Comparison of investments, operational costs, energy consumption of different technological approaches for sidestream treatment at waste water treatment plants.


November 2011 – December 2013

Current work

  • Measurement campaign in 2012 to examine the purification efficiency of the new technique.
  • Compilation of the energy consumption of the sidestream treatment in 2012.
  • Optimization of the sidestream treatment plant in 2014/2015 to reduce the energy consumption.

(Process scheme of the sidestream treatment plant with membrane-technology)

(Energy consumption of the sidestream treatment plant with membrane-technology)