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Effects of Potassium and Magnesium in the Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal Process Using a Membrane Bioreactor

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This study assessed the role of potassium (K+), magnesium (Mg2+), and calcium (Ca2+) ions in the enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) from wastewaters using a membrane bioreactor (MBR). A linear relationship in the anaerobic and aerobic/anoxic phases for Puptake versus Prelease was obtained using the known equation ΔPuptake  =  a × ΔPrelease+ b, where the constants “a” and “b” were found to be 0.44 and 8.40, respectively. Both potassium and magnesium were soluble with phosphate in the anaerobic phase, but they accumulated again during the successive aerobic/anoxic phase. The linear correlation coefficients (R 2) of K+/PO4-P and Mg2+/PO4-P were calculated as 0.6682 and 0.8884, respectively. The molar ratio of CK/P during anaerobic phosphorus release was observed to be 0.20 mol/mol, whereas CMg/P was 0.21 mol/mol. Furthermore, unlike potassium and magnesium, calcium was not co-transported with phosphorus during the release and uptake processes.

Keywords: enhanced biological phosphorus removal; membrane bioreactor; metal cations; phosphate; wastewater treatment

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2011

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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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