Effect of the Aeration Strategy on NOB Suppression in Activated Sludge and Biofilm in a Hybrid Reactor with Nitrification/Denitrification

Olga Zając, Monika Żubrowska-Sudoł, Slawomir Ciesielski, Martyna Godzieba

The purpose of the study was to analyse the impact of aeration strategies defined by the changes in the duration of aerated sub-phases, the ratio between non-aerated and aerated sub-phase times (R), and dissolved oxygen concentrations (DO) on the suppression of nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB) in activated sludge and biofilm developing in a hybrid reactor with nitrification/denitrification. The primary factor causing NOB suppression both in biofilm and in activated sludge was an increase in the R-value (from 0 to 1/4 and from 1/4 to 1/3). After reducing the DO from 3 to 2 mg O2/L, there were no changes in the frequency of NOB occurrence, and no reduction in the nitrite oxidation rate was recorded. The abundance of Comammox bacteria was considerably affected by the change from continuous to intermittent aeration. Activated sludge showed a substantial increase in the quantity of clade A and B, whereas the quantity considerably decreased in biofilm.

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