The denitrification kinetics at 12, 20 and 30°C in nitrification denitrification biological excess phosphorus removal (NDBEPR) systems were delineated in batch tests on sludge harvested from laboratory scale M/UCT systems. In some investigations, it was found that the P release and uptake were confined exclusively (>95%) to the anaerobic and aerobic reactors respectively and the observed P removal conformed to the BEPR model of Wentzel et al. In these investigations, due to an absence of anoxic P uptake (substantiated by PHB measurements), it could be inferred that the phosphate accumulating organisms (PAOs) did not significantly contribute to the denitrification. The ordinary heterotrophic organism (OHO) and PAO groups were separated with the aid of the BEPR model of Wentzel et al. Ascribing the denitrification to the OHO group performing this process, the specific rates of denitrification associated with the utilization of slowly biodegradable COD (SBCOD) in the primary (K′2) and secondary (K′3) anoxic reactors were calculated and compared with the rates in ND systems (K2 and K3). In other investigations it was found that P release and uptake were not confined exclusively to the anaerobic and aerobic reactors respectively and the observed P removal was only about 60% of that expected from the BEPR model of Wentzel et al. In these investigations significant P uptake under anoxic conditions was observed so the PAOs may have been involved with the denitrification. However, the denitrification rates were calculated as before by attributing it exclusively to the OHOs. Widely varying K'2 rates were observed at 20°C, ranging from 0.071 to 0.335 mgNO3-N/(mgAHVSS.d). The variation in K' rate is mainly due to widely varying OHO active fraction estimates for NDBEPR systems.

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