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Stimulation of activated sludge cultures for enhanced heavy metal removal

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The objective of this research was to investigate the feasibility of developing improved activated sludge cultures capable of removing heavy metals present in high concentrations. Bacterial acclimation and stimulation with special chemicals were employed to this end. Thus, cystine, peptone, and, β-glycerophosphate stimulated heavy metal uptake without a drastic reduction in culture viability otherwise experienced in the absence of these special nutrients. Acclimated-stimulated cultures substantially increased metal removal capabilities of aerobic cultures probably because of enhanced synthesis of metal-complexing biopolymers in the presence of precursor chemicals. The lethal effect of heavy metals could also be reduced significantly by culture development in the presence of these nutrients. The peptone-grown culture exhibited the highest removal of copper and cadmium of 0.65 and 0.68 mg/mg protein, respectively. This research shows that substantial improvements in the metal uptake capabilities of activated sludge cultures may be effected by including special nutrients (precursor biochemicals) with the process feed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1995-07-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    Water Environment Research (WER) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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