Example study for granular bioreactor stratification: Three-dimensional evaluation of a sulfate-reducing granular bioreactor.
ABSTRACT: Recently, sulfate-reducing granular sludge has been developed for application in sulfate-laden water and wastewater treatment. However, little is known about biomass stratification and its effects on the bioprocesses inside the granular bioreactor. A comprehensive investigation followed by a verification trial was therefore conducted in the present work. The investigation focused on the performance of each sludge layer, the internal hydrodynamics and microbial community structures along the height of the reactor. The reactor substratum (the section below baffle 1) was identified as the main acidification zone based on microbial analysis and reactor performance. Two baffle installations increased mixing intensity but at the same time introduced dead zones. Computational fluid dynamics simulation was employed to visualize the internal hydrodynamics. The 16S rRNA gene of the organisms further revealed that more diverse communities of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) and acidogens were detected in the reactor substratum than in the superstratum (the section above baffle 1). The findings of this study shed light on biomass stratification in an SRB granular bioreactor to aid in the design and optimization of such reactors.
Project description:A combination of culture-dependent and independent methods was used to study the co-existence of different sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) in an upflow anaerobic sludge bed reactor treating sulfate-rich wastewater. The wastewater was fed with ethanol as an external electron donor. Twenty six strains of SRB were randomly picked and isolated from the highest serial dilution that showed growth (i.e. 10(8)). Repetitive enterobacterial palindromic polymerase chain reaction and whole cell protein profiling revealed a low genetic diversity, with only two genotypes among the 26 strains obtained in the pure culture. The low genetic diversity suggests the absence of micro-niches within the reactor, which might be due to a low spatial and temporal micro-heterogeneity. The total 16S rDNA sequencing of two representative strains L3 and L7 indicated a close relatedness to the genus Desulfovibrio. The two strains differed in as many as five physiological traits, which might allow them to occupy distinct niches and thus co-exist within the same habitat. Whole cell hybridisation with fluorescently labeled oligonucleotide probes was performed to characterise the SRB community in the reactor. The isolated strains Desulfovibrio L3 and Desulfovibrio L7 were the most dominant SRB, representing 30-35% and 25-35%, respectively, of the total SRB community. Desulfobulbus-like bacteria contributed for 20-25%, and the Desulfobacca acetoxidans-specific probe targeted approximately 15-20% of the total SRB. The whole cell hybridisation results thus revealed a consortium of four different species of SRB that can be enriched and maintained on a single energy source in a full-scale sulfidogenic reactor.
Project description:The microbial characteristics of granular sludge during the rapid start of an enhanced external circulating anaerobic reactor were studied to improve algae-laden water treatment efficiency. Results showed that algae laden water was effectively removed after about 35 d, and the removal rates of chemical oxygen demand (COD) and algal toxin were around 85% and 92%, respectively. Simultaneously, the gas generation rate was around 380 mL/gCOD. The microbial community structure in the granular sludge of the reactor was complicated, and dominated by coccus and filamentous bacteria. Methanosphaera, Methanolinea, Thermogymnomonas, Methanoregula, Methanomethylovorans, and Methanosaeta were the major microorganisms in the granular sludge. The activities of protease and coenzyme F420 were high in the granular sludge. The intermittent stirring device and the reverse-flow system were further found to overcome the disadvantage of the floating and crusting of cyanobacteria inside the reactor. Meanwhile, the effect of mass transfer inside the reactor can be accelerated to help give the reactor a rapid start.
Project description:In this work, a mathematical model based on growth kinetics of microorganisms and substrates transportation through biofilms was developed to describe methane production and sulfate reduction with ethanol being a key electron donor. The model was calibrated and validated using experimental data from two case studies conducted in granule-based Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket reactors. The results suggest that the developed model could satisfactorily describe methane and sulfide productions as well as ethanol and sulfate removals in both systems. The modeling results reveal a stratified distribution of methanogenic archaea, sulfate-reducing bacteria and fermentative bacteria in the anaerobic granular sludge and the relative abundances of these microorganisms vary with substrate concentrations. It also indicates sulfate-reducing bacteria can successfully outcompete fermentative bacteria for ethanol utilization when COD/SO<sub>4</sub><sup>2-</sup> ratio reaches 0.5. Model simulation suggests that an optimal granule diameter for the maximum methane production efficiency can be achieved while the sulfate reduction efficiency is not significantly affected by variation in granule size. It also indicates that the methane production and sulfate reduction can be affected by ethanol and sulfate loading rates, and the microbial community development stage in the reactor, which provided comprehensive insights into the system for its practical operation.
Project description:Improving treatment efficiency and reducing investment and operating costs make aerobic granular sludge technology (AGS) a promising technology for treating aquaculture wastewater. The development of continuous flow reactors (CFRs) has become a new direction in the research of AGS. This study clarifies the granulation effect, hydrodynamic behavior and particle separation of three different CFRs (R1 to R3). The established CFD model was able to explain the hydrodynamic behavior in all three CFRs; in particular, R3 performed the best from the perspective of hydrodynamic behavior due to its abundant turbulence. In addition, the optimal baffle distance and baffle angle of R3 were simulated to be 40 mm and 60°, respectively, due to them providing the best turbulent flow and particle separation effect. However, an overlarge baffle angle could weaken the turbulent pattern in the reactor. The retention time distribution further confirmed the reasonability of these optimal parameters with the highest effective volume ratio of 0.82. In short, this study gives an instruction for exploring the rapid formation mechanism of AGS in a CFR to promote its engineering application.
Project description:Predation by protists is top-down pressure that regulates prokaryotic abundance, community function, structure, and diversity in natural and artificial ecosystems. Although the effects of predation by protists have been studied in aerobic ecosystems, they are poorly understood in anoxic environments. We herein studied the influence of predation by Metopus and Caenomorpha ciliates-ciliates frequently found in anoxic ecosystems-on prokaryotic community function, structure, and diversity. Metopus and Caenomorpha ciliates were cocultivated with prokaryotic assemblages (i.e., anaerobic granular sludge) in an up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor for 171 d. Predation by these ciliates increased the methanogenic activities of granular sludge, which constituted 155% of those found in a UASB reactor without the ciliates (i.e., control reactor). Sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons using Illumina MiSeq revealed that the prokaryotic community in the UASB reactor with the ciliates was more diverse than that in the control reactor; 2,885-3,190 and 2,387-2,426 operational taxonomic units (>97% sequence similarities), respectively. The effects of predation by protists in anaerobic engineered systems have mostly been overlooked, and our results show that the influence of predation by protists needs to be examined and considered in the future for a better understanding of prokaryotic community structure and function.
Project description:Information regarding prokaryotic microbiota associated with anaerobic bulking is limited. Here, we provide 16S rRNA gene-based prokaryotic diversity profiles for anaerobic bulking and healthy granular sludge in a mesophilic expanded granular sludge bed (EGSB) reactor. These data were tabulated at the phylum level based on high-quality reads.
Project description:The granular sludge process is an effective, low-footprint alternative to conventional activated sludge wastewater treatment. The architecture of the microbial granules allows the co-existence of different functional groups, e.g., nitrifying and denitrifying communities, which permits compact reactor design. However, little is known about the factors influencing community assembly in granular sludge, such as the effects of reactor operation strategies and influent wastewater composition. Here, we analyze the development of the microbiomes in parallel laboratory-scale anoxic/aerobic granular sludge reactors operated at low (0.9 kg m<sup>-3</sup>d<sup>-1</sup>), moderate (1.9 kg m<sup>-3</sup>d<sup>-1</sup>) and high (3.7 kg m<sup>-3</sup>d<sup>-1</sup>) organic loading rates (OLRs) and the same ammonium loading rate (0.2 kg NH<sub>4</sub>-N m<sup>-3</sup>d<sup>-1</sup>) for 84 days. Complete removal of organic carbon and ammonium was achieved in all three reactors after start-up, while the nitrogen removal (denitrification) efficiency increased with the OLR: 0% at low, 38% at moderate, and 66% at high loading rate. The bacterial communities at different loading rates diverged rapidly after start-up and showed less than 50% similarity after 6 days, and below 40% similarity after 84 days. The three reactor microbiomes were dominated by different genera (mainly <i>Meganema, Thauera, Paracoccus</i>, and <i>Zoogloea</i>), but these genera have similar ecosystem functions of EPS production, denitrification and polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) storage. Many less abundant but persistent taxa were also detected within these functional groups. The bacterial communities were functionally redundant irrespective of the loading rate applied. At steady-state reactor operation, the identity of the core community members was rather stable, but their relative abundances changed considerably over time. Furthermore, nitrifying bacteria were low in relative abundance and diversity in all reactors, despite their large contribution to nitrogen turnover. The results suggest that the OLR has considerable impact on the composition of the granular sludge communities, but also that the granule communities can be dynamic even at steady-state reactor operation due to high functional redundancy of several key guilds. Knowledge about microbial diversity with specific functional guilds under different operating conditions can be important for engineers to predict the stability of reactor functions during the start-up and continued reactor operation.
Project description:A metagenomic approach was used to investigate how the microbial community composition changes when an anammox-based granular sludge reactor is seeded with nitritation-anammox biomass from a wastewater treatment plant. In the seed sample, the abundance of Candidatus Kuenenia stuttgartiensis was similar to Candidatus Jettenia caeni (12.63 vs. 11.68%). This biomass was typical in terms of microbial nitrogen conversion; both ammonia (Nitrosomonas sp.) and nitrite (Nitrospira sp.) oxidizing bacteria were detected. In the lab-scale reactor, Candidatus Kuenenia stuttgartiensis and Candidatus Jettenia caeni bacteria were also present in equal proportions (18.57 vs. 20.89%). On the contrary, Candidatus Nitrospira defluvii bacteria were highly abundant in this reactor, but no known ammonia-oxidizing bacteria were detected. In light of recent studies showing that Nitrospira sp. are capable of complete nitrification, the results presented here may well indicate that both stages of nitrification in the anammox-based granular sludge reactor were performed by this bacteria.
Project description:A sensor-mediated strategy was applied to a laboratory-scale granular sludge reactor (GSR) to demonstrate that energy-efficient inorganic nitrogen removal is possible with a dilute mainstream wastewater. The GSR was fed a dilute wastewater designed to simulate an A-stage mainstream anaerobic treatment process. DO, pH, and ammonia/nitrate sensors measured water quality as part of a real-time control strategy that resulted in low-energy nitrogen removal. At a low COD (0.2 kg m-3 day-1 ) and ammonia (0.1 kg-N m-3 day-1 ) load, the average degree of ammonia oxidation was 86.2 ± 3.2% and total inorganic nitrogen removal was 56.7 ± 2.9% over the entire reactor operation. Aeration was controlled using a DO setpoint, with and without residual ammonia control. Under both strategies, maintaining a low bulk oxygen level (0.5 mg/L) and alternating aerobic/anoxic cycles resulted in a higher level of nitrite accumulation and supported shortcut inorganic nitrogen removal by suppressing nitrite oxidizing bacteria. Furthermore, coupling a DO setpoint aeration strategy with residual ammonia control resulted in more stable nitritation and improved aeration efficiency. The results show that sensor-mediated controls, especially coupled with a DO setpoint and residual ammonia controls, are beneficial for maintaining stable aerobic granular sludge. PRACTITIONER POINTS: Tight sensor-mediated aeration control is need for better PN/A. Low DO intermittent aeration with minimum ammonium residual results in a stable N removal. Low DO aeration results in a stable NOB suppression. Using sensor-mediated aeration control in a granular sludge reactor reduces aeration cost.
Project description:This study aimed to evaluate and compare the physical, chemical and biological properties of aerobic granular sludge from reactors with the addition of different powdered mineral materials. These properties have a significant impact on the efficiency of systems in which the biomass in granular form is used. Four identical granular sequencing batch reactors (GSBRs) were adopted for the research performed on a laboratory scale (R1-control reactor; R2, R3 and R4-with materials, PK, PG and PL respectively). The results indicate that the addition of powdered mineral materials improved the properties of biomass in reactors. The SVI5/SVI30 ratio values were significantly lower in the reactors with added materials (approx. 1.3 ± 0.3). The mean values of the sludge volume index at 30 min were the lowest in the R2 (39.8 ± 8.6 mL/g) and R4 (32.8 ± 10.7 mL/g) reactors. The settling velocity of biomass was the highest in the R2 reactor (15.4 ± 6.1 m/h). In the early days of the study, the highest extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) content was found in the biomass from the reactors to which the materials with higher Ca and Mg content were added (380.18-598.30 mg/g MLVSS). The rate of specific oxygen uptake (SOUR) by biomass indicated an insufficient biomass content in the R1 reactor-to 7.85 mg O2/(g MLVSS?h)-while in the reactors with materials, the SOUR values were at the higher levels.