This research describes the start-up phase of Biological Phosphorus Removal (BPR) processes in two reactors. A Submerged Fix Bed Reactor (SFBR) working with a mixture of synthetic wastewater and domestic sewage and seeded with activated sludge coming from a BPR facility. A second reactor, a Biofilm Membrane Reactor (BMR), was fed with synthetic wastewater and seeded with a mixture of a pure culture of Acinetobacter lwoffi and fresh domestic sewage. It was found that Organic Loading Rates (OLR) above 5 gCOD/m2·d do not guarantee the adequate Mean Cellular Retention Time (MCRT) for the development of Poly-P organisms. Anaerobic periods should not be short during start-up phase or facultative bacteria will efficiently compete for food and, eventually, facing long aerobic periods, the Poly-P organisms may not need the phosphate mechanism to survive short anaerobic periods. Even if COD removal is observed during the anaerobic phase, further P accumulation during the aerobic phase will not be significant, unless the COD removal results in PHB formation. A loss in the BPR capacity of the Poly-P microorganisms was observed after seeding a reactor with active Poly-P organisms. The drop of BPR activity after seeding a reactor with active Poly-P organisms can be caused by the loss of genetic material due to the new environmental conditions and the new influent substrate.
Observations during start-up of biological phosphorus removal in biofilm reactors
P.A. Castillo, S. González-Martínez, I. Tejero; Observations during start-up of biological phosphorus removal in biofilm reactors. Water Sci Technol 1 February 2000; 41 (4-5): 425–432. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2000.0475
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