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Modeling the Aerobic Metabolism of Polyphosphate-Accumulating Organisms Enriched with Propionate as a Carbon Source

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In enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) systems, polyphosphate-accumulating organisms (PAOs) are primarily responsible for removing phosphate from wastewater. Propionate is an abundant carbon substrate in many EBPR plants and has been suggested to provide PAOs an advantage over their carbon competitors—the glycogen-accumulating organisms (GAOs). The aerobic metabolism of PAOs enriched with a propionate carbon source is studied in this paper. A metabolic model is proposed and experimentally validated to characterize the aerobic biochemical transformations by PAOs. The model predicts very well the experimental data obtained from the enriched PAO culture through solid-, liquid-, and gas-phase analyses. This model may be combined with previously formulated metabolic models to better describe the biochemical activity of PAOs with acetate and propionate as the primary carbon sources. Furthermore, it can also facilitate the study of the effect of different carbon sources on PAO–GAO competition.
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Keywords: enhanced biological phosphorus removal; glycogen-accumulating organisms; metabolic model; polyphosphate-accumulating organisms; propionate; titration and offgas analysis

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 December 2007

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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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