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    There are two biological systems available for removing phosphorus from waste water, conventional phosphorus removal (CPR) and denitrifying phosphorus removal (DPR) systems, and each is characterized by the type of sludge used in the process. In this study, we compared the characteristics associated with the efficiency of carbon utilization between CPR and DPR sludge using acetate as a carbon source. For DPR sludge, the heat emitted during the phosphorus release and phosphorus uptake processes were 45.79 kJ/mol e- and 84.09 kJ/mol e-, respectively. These values were about 2 fold higher than the corresponding values obtained for CPR sludge, suggesting that much of the energy obtained from the carbon source was emitted as heat. Further study revealed a smaller microbial mass within the DPR sludge compared to CPR sludge, as shown by a lower sludge yield coefficient (0.05 gVSS/g COD versus 0.36 gVSS/g COD), a result that was due to the lower energy capturing efficiency of DPR sludge according to bioenergetic analysis. Although the efficiency of anoxic phosphorus removal was only 39% the efficiency of aerobic phosphorus removal, the consumption of carbon by DPR sludge was reduced by 27.8% compared to CPR sludge through the coupling of denitrification with dephosphatation.


    Zhan Jin, Fangying Ji, Yin He, Min Zhao, Xuan Xu, Xiang-Yong Zheng. Evaluating the efficiency of carbon utilisation via bioenergetics between biological aerobic and denitrifying phosphorus removal systems. PloS one. 2017;12(10):e0187007

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    PMID: 29065157

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