Characterization of autotrophic and heterotrophic soluble microbial product (SMP) fractions from activated sludge
Date of Issue2012
School of Biological Sciences
Soluble microbial products (SMP) generated by microbial populations can adversely affect the efficiency of biological wastewater treatment systems and secondary effluent quality. In this work, both experimental and modeling approaches were used to investigate the formation of SMP by both heterotrophic and autotrophic bacteria. Strategies to control and reduce SMP in activated sludge systems were thus evaluated. SMP produced by heterotrophs were found to account for more than 92% of total SMP. The SMP produced by autotrophs contributed to less than 8% of the total SMP, with 5% attributable to the ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and 3% to the nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB). When external organic substrate was present, the utilization-associated products (UAP) were the main component of SMP. When external organic substrate was completely consumed, biomass-associated products (BAP) from the hydrolysis of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) dominated the SMP. The model developed in this study described the fractions and dynamics of UAP and BAP produced by heterotrophs, AOB and NOB. Solids retention time of the reactor had a significant effect on SMP production, while the effect of the hydraulic retention time was only minor. Decreasing the solids retention time from 15 to 0.5 d reduced SMP production in the reactor by 62%.
© 2012 Elsevier Ltd.