The continuous introduction of a biological phosphorus removal (BPR) promoting organic substrate to the denitrifying reactor of a BPR process is examined through a series of batch experiments using acetate as model organic substrate. Several observations are made regarding the influence of substrate availability on PHA storage/utilization and phosphate uptake/release. Under anoxic conditions PHB is utilized and phosphate is taken up, indicating that at least a fraction of the PAO can denitrify. The rates of anoxic P-uptake, PHB utilization and denitrification are found to increase with increasing initial PHB level. At low acetate addition rates the P-uptake and PHB utilization rates are reduced compared to when no acetate is available. At higher acetate addition rates a net P-release occurs and PHB is accumulated. For certain intermediate acetate addition rates the PHB level can increase while a net P-release occurs. Whether the introduction of BPR promoting organic substrates to the denitrifying reactor is detrimental to overall P-removal appears to be dependent on the interaction between aerobic P-uptake, which is a function of PHB level, and the aerobic residence time.

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