This study evaluates the effect biochemical storage on the denitrification potential (NDP) of acetate. The fate of bacterial storage is evaluated in a sequencing batch reactor system operated in a sequence of anoxic/aerobic phases, fed with acetate as a pulse and continuously under anoxic conditions. NDP is defined based on system stoichiometry both for direct growth and storage on acetate. Experimental results do not support conceptual calculations based on system stoichiometry, yielding a higher denitrification potential, NDP, for continuous feeding than the NDP obtained with pulse feeding, due to partial utilisation of the stored PHB within the anoxic phase. The nitrate, acetate and poly-β-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) profiles obtained in the experimental studies were used in model calibrations for two different feeding patterns. Results of model simulations confirm the experimental results and evaluate the effects imposed on the denitrification potential by sludge age and the anoxic volume ratio.

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