Cellular adenosine triphosphate (cATP) may be used to characterize the biological degradation activity within the anaerobic and aerobic wastewater treatment systems. The feasibility of using cATP as a process monitoring parameter for an anaerobic membrane bioreactor was evaluated. Results obtained from batch respirometric anaerobic treatability studies and a continuous sludge-bed anaerobic membrane bioreactor (SB-AnMBR) treating prehydrolysis liquor were examined. Both studies were conducted at an operating temperature of 35 °C. The batch studies indicated that the indirect activity measurements, such as the methane production rate correlated well with cATP. The cATP content of the SB-AnMBR responded to changes in total amount of degraded chemical oxygen demand (COD) and methane produced with correlation coefficient of 0.91 and 0.80, respectively. In contrast, cATP was not well correlated to mixed liquor volatile suspended solids with correlation coefficient of 0.52. The values of cATP/CODremoved ratio and active biomass ratio (ABR) indicated that the increase in cATP value might be a result of increased biodegradation activity in the SB-AnMBR system.

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