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Phosphorus Removal Activated Sludge Process of Municipal Sewage Treatment at Warm Climates

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Since the 1990s, the deterioration of the enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) during summer seasons has been reported. Proliferation of Glycogen Accumulating Organisms (GAO) is believed to be the main cause for the deterioration. In the review of the studies carried out, several limitations were found: (i) most of the experiments adopted a single substrate such as HAc or HPr, along with an enriched culture such as PAO and GAO, while in contrast, actual site conditions will have multiple substrates and multiple cultures; (ii) the COD/P ratio of the feed, which has a significant impact on the dominance of PAO and GAO, in the laboratory studies are often different from those on site; (iii) the mechanisms of anaerobic metabolism on site may not be the same as those of the classic model; (iv) only COD and P removal are involved in the A/O SBR applied in most laboratory studies, while in practice, nitrogen removal is often involved as well; and (v) in practice, continuous processes are the norm but sequential processes are applied in most of the laboratory studies. Thus, the question of whether EBPR works under warm climate conditions is one that has yet to be answered.

This manuscript presents the results of a laboratory scale MUCT process fed by real sewage. To compare the performance and microbial community under different climate conditions, five sets of experiments at 30°C, 20°C and 15°C with different feed conditions (Table 1) were carried out. The specific points of interests were: (i) to observe the process performance under practical conditions in warm climates; (ii) to explore the possibility of EBPR performance optimization by the addition of external carbon (HAc) and alkalinity for better control of pH under warm climates; (iii) to investigate the microbial community (with a focus on PAO and GAO) and the competition for COD under different temperature regimes and feed conditions by using FISH and P-release and uptake batch tests; and (iv) to explore the interrelationships between the process performance, addition of external carbon (HAc) and alkalinity, and the microbial community composition.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2011

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