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Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal in an Anaerobic–Aerobic Sequencing Batch Reactor: Effect of pH

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Enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) is not always successfully achieved in activated-sludge processes by anaerobic–aerobic operation. It has been reported that the deterioration of EBPR has been caused by domination of glycogen-accumulating organisms (GAOs) in microbial sludge. After repeated operation of a sequencing batch reactor (SBR) supplied with acetate as a sole carbon source, it was found that an operational variable, pH, could be a tool to control the competition between GAOs and polyphosphate-accumulating organisms PAOs, which could mediate the success of EBPR. When anaerobic phase pH in the SBR was controlled at 7.0, GAOs dominated the culture, resulting in failure of EBPR. Without pH control, the pH during the anaerobic phase increased to 8.4 as a result of denitrification and acetate uptake. In this relatively high pH condition, almost complete EBPR was achieved. In this report, the mechanism of pH effect on the competition between GAOs and PAOs was elucidated through a characterization of activated sludge using previously proposed biochemical models.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-05-01

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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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