Experimental work was carried out with a lab-scale SBR, whose operation was divided into three runs: I run (glucose + acetate feed, 3′ fill), II run (only glucose feed, 3′ fill), III run (only glucose feed, 60′ fill). The results show that the bacteria growing in alternating anaerobic/aerobic systems can remove organic substrates under anaerobic conditions even without using the hydrolysis of polyphosphates or the transformation of glycogen into poly-hydroxyalkanoates as the energy sources for the uptake and storage of substrate. However, in the case of acetate plus glucose feed, EBPR can be steadily established with typical PP-bacteria like metabolism even if most of the COD removal takes place under not truly anaerobic conditions.

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