Nitrous oxide reducing bacteria

Period: 10.2018 – 12.2019


Prof. Dr. Susanne Lackner | FB 13, Abwasserwirtschaft, IWAR

Prof. Dr. Jörg Simon | FB 10, Mikrobielle Energieumwandlung und Biotechnologie


Laughing gas (N2O) is a potent greenhouse gas and ozone depleting substance. Over the last century the atmospheric concentration of N2O has been constantly on the rise as a consequence of the invention of man-made nitrogen fixation (the Haber-Bosch process) and intensification of agricultural fertilization practices that resulted in a severe anthropogenic imbalance of the global biogeochemical nitrogen cycle. Despite the fact that N2O emissions have been recognized to play an important role in climate change, corresponding mitigation strategies remaine underexplored.

The aim of this project was to investigate specialized N2O reducing bacteria (NrB) and their applicability to reduce N2O emissions in wastewater treatment plants. Besides work with the well-known NrB Wolinella succinogenes, further candidate NrB have been isolated from activated sludge and characterized. The results of this project will add to a research and teaching plan built on the now established methods.


Bunse, P., Pidde, A.V., Hein, S., Simon, J. and Lackner, S. (2020) Wolinella succinogenes As A Possible Sink for Nitrous Oxide (N2O) In Wastewater Treatment Plants, IWA NRR Conference, Espoo, Finland.

Suenaga, T., Ota, T., Oba, K., Usui, K., Sako, T., Hori, T., Riya, S., Hosomi, M., Chandran, K., Lackner, S., Smets, B.F., Terada, A. (2020)
The combination of 15N tracer and microbial analyses discloses N2O sink potential of anammox communities, eingereicht bei Environmental Science & Technology