Abstract

In this study, the influence of the anaerobic mixed feeding rate on granule stability and reactor performance in a conventional sequencing batch reactor (C-SBR) was investigated while treating various industrial wastewaters. A laboratory-scale SBR fed with malting wastewater rich in phosphorus was operated for approximately 250 days, which was divided into two periods: (I) mixed pulse feed and (II) prolonged mixed feed. Initially, no bio-P activity was observed. However, by lowering the feeding rate biological P-removal was rapidly established and no effect on the aerobic granular sludge (AGS) characteristics was observed. Additionally, to investigate the effect of the mixed feeding rate when treating an industrial effluent with low phosphorus content, i.e. brewery wastewater, a laboratory-scale reactor was operated for approximately 400 days applying different mixed feeding rates. Morphological and molecular analysis indicated that a low substrate concentration promoted the enrichment of anaerobic carbon storing filaments when fed with brewery wastewater. Findings suggest that a prolonged mixed feeding regime can be used as a tool to easily establish bio-P removal in a C-SBR system for the treatment of phosphorus-rich wastewaters. It should however be considered that under P-limiting conditions, enrichment of poly-P storing filaments may occur, possibly due to their higher substrate affinity under anaerobic conditions.

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