Operating pH and feed composition as factors affecting stability of aerobic granular sludge
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In this study the stability and nutrient removal performance of aerobic granules under variable operating pH and variable growth medium was investigated. The results indicated that alkaline pH (pH=9) inhibited nitrogen and phosphorus removal. Moreover, high pH induced granules breakage and resulted in an increased biomass concentration in the effluent. On the other hand, acidic pH (pH=6) did not have significant impacts on stability and nutrient removal efficiency of granules. Changing the growth medium from acetate-based wastewater to municipal wastewater resulted in loss of biological phosphorus removal while ammonium and COD removal stayed the same. The granules disintegrated during the first two weeks after changing the feed; re-granulation of the biomass was observed after the acclimation of bacteria to the new growth medium. However, the granules breakage did not exert significant impact on settling property of biomass.