Abstract

Aerobic granular sludge (AGS) was preserved using an agar embedding method to maintain its stability. No obvious damage was imposed on the granular appearance during 30 days of cold and dry storage, but the granular microstructure had an uneven surface with a large number of holes. The results were consistent with the extinction of microbial communities and the monitored consumption of extracellular polymeric substances, in which granular specific oxygen utilization rate and mixed liquor volatile suspended solids/mixed liquor suspended solids ratio, respectively, decreased by 72.4% and 62.5% during storage. A mass conversation calculation indicated that the loss of granular mass was 1.6393 g. An offensive odour was smelled during storage, and the results indicated that a material transformation and mitigation were involved between AGS and the gas phase. Although the granular structure was destroyed to a certain extent, no obvious damage was imposed on the granular skeleton during storage. After it was aerated again after a feeding with real wastewater, the residual skeleton served as a carrier for the rapid proliferation of microorganisms, and good granular properties were obtained after 11 days of reactivation.

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