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Bioaugmentation with Ammonia Oxidizing Bacteria (AOB) Selected in an Alternating Bioreactor

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The effect of seeding ammonium oxidizing bacteria was tested in bench scale in four sequencing batch reactors (SBR). The seeding reactor (R1) was maintained at 35 °C while the seeded reactors were maintained at 21 °C (R2) and 15 °C (R3) respectively; an unseeded reactor (R4) was operated as control in the same conditions of R2. The experiment lasted 330 days and, after the start up period, it was possible to obtain partial nitrification and denitritation in both seeding and seeded reactors.

Bioaugmentation was shown to be advantageous towards the start up of the nitritation process, as well as contributed to faster recovery of the process after stability fluctuations or biomass wash out. The bioaugmentation effect was less than expected as far as compensating the adverse conditions in the seeded reactors such as low temperature and low solids retention time. The differences in the biomass selection conditions, especially temperature and substrate concentrations, were identified as the main reasons for the partial loss of seeding efficiency. The poor settleability of the seeded nitrifiers was also identified as a problem.

Keywords: Bioaugmentation; ammonium oxidizing bacteria; denitritation; half saturation constant; maximum specific growth rate; nitrifier kinetics; nitritation; nitrogen removal; partial nitrification; sequencing batch reactors

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2011-01-01

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