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The Role of Poly-hydroxy-alkanoate Form in Determining the Response of Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal Biomass to Volatile Fatty Acids

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Anaerobic–aerobic batch experiments indicated that poly-hydroxy-alkanoate (PHA) form was important in determining the net phosphorus removal resulting from different volatile fatty acids (VFAs). Poly-3-hydroxy-butyrate (3HB) content was found to correlate fairly well with higher observed aerobic phosphorus uptake per unit PHA carbon degraded. Poly-3-hydroxy-valerate (3HV) correlated with lower aerobic phosphorus uptakes per unit PHA carbon degraded. These experiments, conducted with synthetic wastewater, imply that VFA speciation might have a significant effect on aerobic phosphorus uptakes and net phosphorus removal. In addition, the model parameter ƒP,UPT (Barker and Dold, 1997) could vary with the proportion of acetic to propionic acid received (i.e., the acetic/propionic acid ratio may be an important parameter for these systems). Carbohydrate data implied that the lower aerobic phosphorus uptake resulting from 3HV might have been caused by a greater fraction of PHA carbon shunting to carbohydrate biosynthesis during aerobiosis.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2002

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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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