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Production and Characterization of Foam in the Anoxic Zone of a Membrane-Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal Process

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A pilot-scale membrane-enhanced biological phosphorus removal process accumulated substantial quantities of stable foam on the surface of the anoxic zone. The foam contained 4 to 6% dry matter, with specific nitrogen and phosphorus contents that were similar to those of the underlying anoxic zone mixed liquor. Kinetic studies demonstrated that the specific rate of phosphorus release from the foam was only 25 to 30% of that observed with mixed liquor from the aerobic zone. Molecular techniques demonstrated that the calculated similarity of the microbial communities in the foam and the underlying mixed liquor was approximately 80%, with two phylotypes (Gordonia amarae and Microthrix parvicella) being uniquely enriched in the foam and one phylotype (Epistylis sp.) more abundant in the underlying mixed liquor. The production of foam was demonstrated to be a consistent phenomenon that depended on the concentration of the suspended solids in the bioreactor.
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Keywords: bacterial populations; biological phosphorus removal; foaming; membrane bioreactor; phosphorus recovery; solids retention time control; wastewater

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 February 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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