Laboratory denitrification experiments using SBRs were performed with three specific carbon sources (acetate, methanol and ethanol) to investigate the process in terms of stoichiometry and kinetics. The long term (several months long) experiments were started with unacclimated activated
sludge and were fed exclusively by one of the specific substrates.Nitrate and filtered COD measurements in SBR cycles (among others) allow the calculation of true anoxic yield and kinetic parameters as the activated sludge adapted to the new substrate. A model hypothesis consisting of generalists
and specialists was formulated which describes the observed increase in yield and allows more accurate prediction of carbon dose required, adaptation time and optimum start-up dosing strategy. The effort is on-going to complete the evaluation of the large dataset to obtain final model parameters
and evaluate other substrates (e.g. glycerol) for which experiments have been performed or are planned.
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