Conventional methods to determine the biomass in activated sludge are the measurement of total suspended solids (TSS) and volatile suspended solids (VSS). Such methods do not distinguish between active biomass and inactive organic material. In this study, biomass was determined with both conventional methods and also through measuring the protein content with the modified Lowry method. In order to investigate the relationship between activity and biomass concentration in terms of TSS, VSS and protein content, some starvation experiments were conducted. It was found that the protein fraction of VSS differs under different starvation conditions. The biological activity of the activated sludge was measured as oxygen uptake rate (OUR). The strongest correlation could be measured between protein and OUR under various conditions. The results show that protein is an appropriate parameter for the measurement of the biological activity.

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