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Integrating Decay, Storage, Kinetic Selection, and Filamentous Backbone Factors in a Bacterial Competition Model

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Filamentous bulking in activated sludge systems occurs when filamentous organisms outgrow floc-forming bacteria and interfere with sludge settling. The competition between filaments and floc formers has been described previously using the kinetic selection and filamentous backbone theories. We hypothesized that differences in decay rates and storage abilities also affect this competition. We tested this hypothesis by integrating these four factors into a substrate-utilization model to predict and explain coexistence in a completely mixed reactor. In addition, filamentous and nonfilamentous sludges were developed in laboratory-scale reactors and analyzed to determine decay rates. The modeling results showed coexistence of the two organism types, and sensitivity analysis showed that the kinetic parameters, storage rate constants, and backbone coefficient had the greatest effect on the simulation results. Monte Carlo simulation showed the effect of storage, and the ranges of dilution rates wherein one group outcompeted the other were delineated.
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Keywords: bulking; decay rate; filamentous backbone; kinetic selection; modeling; storage

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 May 2005

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    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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