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The comparison of treatment performances between the sDMBRs with and without AT addition during lengthy operation is summarized in Table 3. The COD removal efficiencies of sDMBR with and without AT addition were 95.7 and 96.3%, while NH4+-N removal efficiencies were 97.7 and 98.8%, respectively. A significant increase of the TN and TP removal efficiencies was accounted for with the AT added sDMBR compared to sDMBR only. TN removal efficiency was 51% in sDMBR compared to 77% in AT added sDMBR, meanwhile TP removal was 50% in sDMBR compared to 75% in the AT added sDMBR. The granular sludge formatted in the sDMBR after AT addition contributed to the high TN removal efficiency. Microbial community could form zoogloeas on AT particles, and subsequently aggregate functions of microorganisms, through microbial capsules and surface mucus.

Table 3

Comparisons of pollutants removal efficiencies in sDMBR with and without AT addition, all of the values represent mean ± standard deviation (n = 22)

sDMBR without AT addition
sDMBR with AT addition
ParametersEffluentRemoval efficiency (%)EffluentRemoval efficiency (%)
COD (mg L–112.64 ± 0.47 95.7 ± 2.2 10.88 ± 6.53 96.3 ± 2.6 
NH4+-N(mg L–11.32 ± 0.08 97.7 ± 0.4 1.12 ± 0.14 98.8 ± 0.4 
TN (mg L–135.67 ± 6.26 51 ± 8.6 16.74 5.23 77 ± 7.2 
TP (mg L–11.78 ± 0.12 50 ± 6.2 0.94 ± 0.14 75 ± 3.8 
sDMBR without AT addition
sDMBR with AT addition
ParametersEffluentRemoval efficiency (%)EffluentRemoval efficiency (%)
COD (mg L–112.64 ± 0.47 95.7 ± 2.2 10.88 ± 6.53 96.3 ± 2.6 
NH4+-N(mg L–11.32 ± 0.08 97.7 ± 0.4 1.12 ± 0.14 98.8 ± 0.4 
TN (mg L–135.67 ± 6.26 51 ± 8.6 16.74 5.23 77 ± 7.2 
TP (mg L–11.78 ± 0.12 50 ± 6.2 0.94 ± 0.14 75 ± 3.8 

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