Simultaneous denitrification and methanogenesis were accomplished in a single upflow sludge blanket (USB) reactor. More than 99% and 95% of nitrate and chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal rates were obtained at a loading of 600 mg NO3-N/L·d and 3,300 mg COD/L·d, respectively. The specific denitrification rate (SDR) increased as COD/NO3-N ratios decreased. Maximum SDR with acetate could reach 1.05 g NO3-N/gVSS·d. Significant sludge flotation was observed at the top of the reactor due to the change of microbial composition and the formation of hollow granules. Granules became fluffy and buoyant due to the growth of denitrifiers. Microscopic examination showed that granules exhibited layered structure and they were mainly composed of Methanosarcina sp., Pseudomonas sp., and rod-shaped bacteria.

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