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Production of Polyhydroxyalkanoate During Treatment of Tomato Cannery Wastewater

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Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) production was achieved using tomato cannery waste coupled with a mixed microbial culture during wastewater treatment. The two-stage PHA production process comprised a sequencing batch reactor (SBR), operating under a periodic feast–famine regime, to accomplish simultaneously wastewater treatment and selection of PHA-accumulating microbes, followed by a batch reactor for the production of PHA-rich biomass. The SBRs were efficient at removing soluble carbon (84%), ammonia (100%), and phosphorus (76%). Meanwhile, PHA-accumulating microbes were enriched under the SBR operating conditions, and PHA content on a cell-weight basis was within the range 7 to 11% in nonfiltered wastewater and 2 to 8% in filtered wastewater. Subsequently, batch studies were implemented with varying loading rates, ranging from 0.4 to 3.2 food-to-microorganism ratios. A maximum 20% PHA content on a cell-weight basis was obtained. Based on the experimental results, a PHA biosynthesis-degradation kinetic model was developed to (1) aid in the design of a pilot- or full-scale PHA production process coupled with wastewater treatment and (2) determine optimal conditions for harvest of PHA-rich biomass.
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Keywords: polyhydroxyalkanoates; tomato cannery wastewater; wastewater treatment

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-04-01

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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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