The aim of this study was to assess the effect of side-stream ratio (SSR) on performance of phosphorus (P) removal and recovery in a novel process linking biological nutrients removal (BNR) and induced crystallization (IC). Results showed that P removal efficiency was significantly enhanced when given an appropriate SSR, resulting in effluent P concentrations decreasing from 0.75 to 0.39 mg/L with an increase of SSR from 0 to 35%, where a maximum of 7.19 mg/L P recovery amount was obtained at 35% of SSR. Increasing the SSR can favor the P recovery, while an excessively high SSR (more than 35%) would have a negative effect on the subsequent biological P removal in the BNR-IC system. Polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) analysis showed that in total, 11 DGGE bands of highest species richness were visually detected and significant changes in microbial community structure were found, with SSR variations ranging from 0 to 55%. Moreover, an increase in SSR can cause an increase in microbial community biodiversity; where microbial populations correspond to the 11 bands, they were generally classified into five different phyla or classes (Beta-, Gamma-, and Deltaproteobacteria, as well as Clostridia and Flavobacteria) based on the evolutionary tree analysis.

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