The effect of pH on phosphorus release under anaerobic conditions was examined for denitrifying phosphorus removing bacteria (DPB) cultivated in an anaerobic-anoxic sequencing batch reactor. Also batch tests were conducted with activated sludge from a full-scale waste water treatment plant (WWTP) in order to investigate occurrence and contribution of DPB in phosphorus removal processes. In the experiments for the pH effect, enriched DPB sludge was maintained under anaerobic conditions with acetic acid (HAc) present at 5 different pH conditions (6.0∼8.0), and released phosphorus and consumed HAc concentrations were measured. When the biomass concentration was around 2.7 g-VSS/l, the observed P/C (released-P/consumed-HAc) ratios were 0.7, 1.1 and 1.2 g-P/g-C at pH=6, 7 and 8. At 4.2 g-VSS/l, the observed P/C ratios were 0.9, 1.3 and 1.2 g-P/g-C, respectively. The difference between the two experiments resulted from the endogenous phosphorus release. The same pH effect as observed for conventional anaerobic-aerobic SBR sludge, was obtained for the DPB sludge in the range of pH=6.0∼7.5. However due to precipitates formation at pH=8.0, the apparent P/C ratio was approximately 20% less than the ratio calculated from the biological released phosphorus concentration by DPB. From the results of the batch tests with activated sludge and observations on the full-scale WWTP, it was also shown that clearly denitrifying dephosphatation occurs and approximately 50% of the phosphorus removal occurs via denitrifying activities in the WWTP.

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