Seqestration Options for Phosphorus in Wastewater

  • Varsha Jha
  • Sampada Puranik (Chande)Email author
  • Hemant J. Purohit


Inefficient wastewater treatment introduces huge amount of nutrients mainly phosphorus and nitrogen to the natural waterbodies. Excessive phosphate in the water leads to the growth of algae or eutrophication. One-third of the aquatic ecology has been destroyed by eutrophication worldwide including China, Japan, Europe, South Asia and South Africa. Artificial eutrophication affects the water ecology around the world by decreasing the quality standards of water and alters the ecosystem structure and function. Phosphorus is known to be a limiting factor, and it is crucial to remove the phosphate from the effluent prior to exoneration into waterbodies.

Intracellular phosphate content of certain important species of bacteria influences phosphate removal in wastewater treatment. A variety of polyphosphate-accumulating organisms (PAOs) are involved. Under alternating anaerobic and aerobic conditions, these PAOs store phosphate in the form of polyphosphate. Among PAOs, Accumulibacter sp., Pseudomonas sp., Aeromonas hydrophila, Tetrasphaera sp. and gram-positives are the major role players as phosphate removers. As compared to chemical method, biological way of nutrient removal proved to be cost-effective, and it reduces the sludge production. An integrative approach towards phosphoregulation is a key aspect of dealing with the problem.


Enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) Polyphosphate (poly P) Polyphosphate-accumulating organisms (PAOs) 



Authors highly acknowledge Director, CSIR-NEERI for providing facilities for this work [KRC manuscript no. CSIR-NEERI/KRC/2017/July/EBGD/16]. Varsha Jha and Sampada (Puranik) Chande is supported by UGC Junior Research Fellowship and a postdoctoral fellowship from NIH-Training grant T32 at Yale School of Medicine respectively.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Varsha Jha
    • 1
  • Sampada Puranik (Chande)
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Hemant J. Purohit
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental Biotechnology and Genomics DivisionCSIR – National Environmental Engineering and Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI)NagpurIndia
  2. 2.Environmental Biotechnology and Genomics DivisionNational Environmental Engineering Research Institute, CSIR-NEERINagpurIndia
  3. 3.Department of Internal MedicineYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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