The population dynamics of microbes in the biological wastewater treatment processes such as a submerged biofilter was investigated to obtain basic information to determine the optimal operating conditions. The effects of coexistence of biodegradable substances such as glucose and peptone on the acclimation of microbes in the biofilm to hard chemicals such as acrylonitrile (AN), which is poorly biodegradable and a volatile substance, was investigated on the basis of the respiratory quinone profile. Kinetic study of the removal of AN in the course of acclimation of microbes was investigated using a laboratory-scale submerged biofilter as well. It was ascertained that the acclimation of the microbes to AN was accelerated by coexistence of biodegradable substances, and the microbial phase after acclimation differed from those with the coexistence of glucose and peptone. The quinone profiles in the acclimation showed that Brevibacterium sp. and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, of which the predominant quinone of the respiratory chain is menaquinone-8(H2) and ubiquinone-9, respectively, multiplied selectively in the acclimation course without and with the coexistence of glucose and peptone, respectively. It was also made clear that there were few kinds and number of protozoa and metazoa in the biofilter treating the wastewater containing AN.

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