The influence of activated sludge quality on the co-metabolic biodegradation of three aminopolycarboxyl acids was investigated for a variety of Luxembourg sewage treatment plants. A combination of biodegradation experiments and respirometric techniques are presented as a reliable approach for the estimation of biokinetics and biological xenobiotic degradation rates that allow for identification of governing parameters such as microbial activity and active biomass. Results showed that biokinetics and degradation rates vary greatly between different plants. The fraction of active biomass on the total suspended solids ranged between 16.9 and 53.7%. Xenobiotic biodegradation rates correlated with microbial activity suggesting a relationship with WWTP performance for carbon and nutrient removal. The biokinetic information can be used to increase the prediction accuracy of xenobiotics removal by individual WWTPs.

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