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.
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