Aerobic upflow sludge blanket(AUSB) process is a new biological wastewater treatment method applying the concept of the self-immobilization to activated sludge. Two sets of AUSB system with different mixing velocities of 3 rpm(R1) and 6 rpm(R2) were operated for high-rate treatment of synthetic wastewater. The COD removal efficiency in R2 was higher than R1 at the same loading rate up to 7 kg/m3·day. However, in R1, the sludge bulking was observed at the end of the experiment. The chocolate colored granules were formed about 5 days after the start-up. The morphological study on the granular sludge consortia was made with both scanning electron and optical microscopes. The granules were 0.5-2.5 mm in diameter and mainly consisted of bacteria with pili-like appendages and filamentous bacteria, which were thought to be Sphaerotilus natans and Beggiatoa. In R1, the long multicellular filaments causing bulking were prevalent in the granule, while in R2 overgrowth of filamentous bacteria was prevented with appropriate shear stress resulting in higher MLSS density. Experimental results indicated that granulation could be controlled by physical stress on granular sludge.

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