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Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal in an Anaerobic–Aerobic Sequencing Batch Reactor: Characteristics of Carbon Metabolism

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Carbon metabolism of activated sludge performing enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) was investigated in a sequencing batch reactor (SBR), where glucose and acetate were supplied as carbon sources. There have been reports that EBPR often failed because of outgrowth of G-bacteria, which are able to use glycogen (or glucose) alone instead of glycogen and polyphosphate as an internal energy storage pool for the anaerobic uptake and storage of acetate. However, in this experiment, complete EBPR was achieved without proliferation of G-bacteria despite the supply of glucose in addition to the acetate. Additional one-cycle SBR operation was carried out to investigate the detailed metabolism of glucose and acetate. Acetate-using, phosphorus-accumulating organisms (PAOs) could use glucose as a source for the anaerobic polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) synthesis from acetate. However, glucose and acetate were metabolized separately through independent metabolic pathways by respective microorganisms: acetate-using PAOs, lactate-producing organisms (LPOs), and lactate-using PAOs. Glucose was rapidly converted to lactic acid by LPOs before acetate-using PAOs used the glucose as an energy source for the anaerobic PHA synthesis from acetate and the lactate-using PAOs anaerobically synthesized PHA from lactate at the expense of polyphosphate. The EBPR was accomplished by acetate-using PAOs and lactate-using PAOs independently when glucose acetate were supplied together.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 May 2001

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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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