Recently, several groups have showed the occurrence of aerobic granular sludge. The excellent settling characteristics of aerobic granular sludge allow the design of very compact wastewater treatment plants. In laboratory experiments, high oxygen concentrations were needed to obtain stable granulation. However, in order to obtain energy efficient aeration and good denitrification low oxygen concentrations would be required. From earlier research on biofilm morphology, it was learned that slow growing organisms influence the density and stability of biofilms positively. To decrease the growth rate of the organisms in the aerobic granules, easily degradable substrate (e.g. acetate) has to be converted to slowly degradable COD like microbial storage polymers (e.g. PHA). Phosphate or glycogen accumulating bacteria perform this conversion step most efficiently. In this paper it is shown that the selection of such bacteria in aerobic granules indeed led to stable granular sludge, even at low oxygen concentrations.

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