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A comparative study on the formation and characterization of aerobic 4-chloroaniline-degrading granules in SBR and SABR


The formation and characterization of the aerobic 4-chloroaniline-degrading granules in the three column-type sequencing batch reactors were investigated in this paper. The granular sludge was observed since 15 days after start-up in R2 and R3 which had the high ratio of height to diameter (H/D). Since then and within the subsequent 75 days, the granulation of aerobic sludge was apparently developed by the decreased settling time and gradually increased 4-chloroaniline (4-ClA) concentration to above 400 mg·L−1 in R1 to R3. The aerobic granules tended to be mature in all reactors continuously operated with 4-ClA loading rates of around 800 g·m−3·d−1, and the removal efficiencies of chemical oxygen demand, total nitrogen, and 4-ClA were maintained above 93%, 70%, and 99.9%, respectively. Mature aerobic granules in R1 to R3 featured with the average diameter of 0.78, 1.68, and 1.25 mm, minimal settling velocity of 20.5, 70.1 and 66.6 m·h−1, specific 4-ClA degradation rates of 0.14, 0.21, and 0.27 g·gVSS−1·d−1, and the ratio of proteins to polysaccharides of 8.2, 10.8, and 13.7 mg·mg−1, respectively. This study demonstrates that the reactor with a high H/D ratio and internal circulation favors the granulation and stabilization of aerobic sludge.

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This work was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.30470039) and Specialized Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education, Ministry of Education, China (No. 20050335133). The authors thank Baolan HU and Junying LI for the assistance in the preparation of the manuscript and for the technical assistance.

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Correspondence to Xiangyang Xu.

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Zhu, L., Xu, X., Luo, W. et al. A comparative study on the formation and characterization of aerobic 4-chloroaniline-degrading granules in SBR and SABR. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 79, 867–874 (2008).

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  • 4-Chloroaniline (4-ClA)
  • Aerobic granule
  • Sequential air-lift bioreactor (SABR)
  • SBR