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Microbial population response to changes of the operating conditions in a dynamic nutrient-removal sequencing batch reactor

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A nutrient-removal sequencing batch reactor operated with short anaerobic/aerobic cycles was subjected to different operating conditions, namely, cycle length, feeding pattern and feed composition. The changes in microbial population, as well as the contribution of microbial groups to the total nutrient removal, were estimated using the kinetic parameters obtained in this study. Denitrifying polyphosphate-accumulating organisms (DPAOs) were detected in the system, representing a fraction of 23% of phosphorus-accumulating organisms (PAOs). The results suggest that DPAOs and non-DPAOs are different microorganisms. The presence of nitrate in the feed stimulated DPAOs to predominate over non-DPAOs. Feeding the reactor with a mixture of organic substrates also stimulated DPAOs. Glycogen-accumulating organisms (GAOs) were likely to be present in the system and their development over PAOs was apparently favoured by increasing the aeration time and feeding during the aerobic phase. In contrast, the presence of propanoate in the feed apparently favoured PAOs over GAOs.

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F. Freitas acknowledges Fundação para Ciência e a Tecnologia for grant PRAXIS XXI/BD/11346/97. The authors acknowledge the financial support of EUREKA Programme EU 1697.

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Correspondence to Maria A. M. Reis.

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Freitas, F., Temudo, M. & Reis, M.A.M. Microbial population response to changes of the operating conditions in a dynamic nutrient-removal sequencing batch reactor. Bioprocess Biosyst Eng 28, 199–209 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00449-005-0029-9

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  • Biological nutrient removal
  • Sequencing batch reactor
  • Phosphorus-accumulating organisms
  • Denitrifying phosphorus-accumulating organisms
  • Glycogen-accumulating organisms
  • Kinetics