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A Biological Phosphorus Removal Potential Test for Wastewaters

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A simple test was proposed to assess whether phosphorus in a wastewater can be removed using a biological phosphorus removal (BPR) process. The test includes the measurement of phosphorus release during 2 hours of the anaerobic stage in a batch reactor containing phosphorus-accumulating organisms (PAOs) and estimation of the effluent phosphorus concentration using biochemical relationships. The BPR potential test developed allowed for the successful evaluation of BPR feasibility for five wastewater samples. The BPR potential test was validated by comparing the test results with the effluent phosphorus concentrations measured in a sequencing batch reactor (SBR). An effluent phosphorus concentration of 1.9 mg P/L predicted for the BPR potential test performed was close to the effluent phosphorus concentration of 1.8 mg P/L obtained from an SBR on the same day. During the anaerobic stage, phosphorus release was significantly affected by the sludge concentration initially, but became insignificant after 2 hours. The initial sludge concentration affected the phosphorus release rate; thus, it is recommended that the BPR potential test be conducted at a target mixed liquor volatile suspended solids concentration. It is also recommended that the BPR potential test be conducted at the site where the PAO-containing sludge is available and the wastewater sample can be delivered at 4 °C in less than 24 hours. The PAOs in different sludges had almost identical phosphorus release after 2 hours; however, the characteristics of facultative bacteria in sludges affected the phosphorus release. If the wastewater is prefermented for at least 3 days before the BPR potential test, the amount of phosphorus released by various PAO-containing sludges is expected to be identical.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 May 2001

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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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