A practical application of the concept of uncoupling between catabolism and anabolism during microbial metabolism has been studied in the case of a modified activated sludge system, called OSA (Oxic-Settling-Anaerobic). The OSA system consisted of an oxic completely mixed tank, followed by a settling tank and an anaerobic tank, situated in the returned sludge circuit of the OSA system. The periodic passageway of facultative aerobic activated sludge microorganisms through the anaerobic zone created conditions of uncoupled growth, indicated by ATP stock depletion and resulted in a consecutive reduction of activated sludge production.

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