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Evaluation of the Capacity of Phosphorus-Accumulating Organisms To Use Nitrate and Oxygen as Final Electron Acceptors: A Theoretical Study on Population Dynamics

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Ability of phosphorus-accumulating organisms (PAGs) capable of using both nitrate and oxygen as temlinal electron acceptors to compete successfully in biological excess phosphorus removal (BEPR) systems was assessed relative to purely aerobic PAGs. The anoxic-aerobic population has a significant competitive disadvantage when competing with PAGs that can only use oxygen because of a lower thermodynamic efficiency of anoxic growth compared to aerobic growth. This causes less efficient use of stored poly-β-hydroxy-butyrate under anoxic conditions, leading to the washout of the anoxic-aerobic population from the system. This analysis provides a potential explanation of why growth of denitrifying PAGs (DPAGs) has not been observed in some BEPR systems. This work also suggests that introduction of even a small aerobic zones in a BEPR system will strongly affect accumulation of DPAGs. In addition, a hypothetical model to describe acetate uptake under anoxic conditions was developed, and simulations performed with it produced results that agree with experimental observations published in the literature.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1999-09-01

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  • 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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