Effect of nitrate on phosphorus release in biological phosphorus removal systems

T. Kuba, A. Wachtmeister, M. C.M. Van Loosdrecht, J. J. Heijnen

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

191 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of nitrate on phosphorus release by biological phosphorus removing organisms has been studied. Denitrifying (PB) or aerobic phosphorus removing bacteria were enriched in an anaerobic-anoxic or anaerobic-aerobic sequencing batch reactor (SBR). The enrichment sludges were used in batch tests, in which the effect of simultaneous presence of substrate (HAc) and nitrate was studied on the phosphorus release. It could be concluded that a reduction of the phosphorus release by nitrate in biological phosphorus removal systems is partly due to the presence of DPB, which utilize HAc for denitrification, not for phosphorus release. PHB (poly-β-hydroxybutyrate) was always produced and phosphorus was released by DPB sludge when nitrate and HAc were simultaneously present. The reducing power (NADH2) and the energy (ATP) for this process seemed to be obtained from HAc oxidation by nitrate as well as from polyphosphate degradation. After removal of the HAc, PHB degradation and phosphorus uptake occurred.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-269
Number of pages7
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number6 pt 6
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 17th Biennial Conference of the International Association on Water Quality. Part 1 - Budapest, Hung
Duration: Jul 24 1994Jul 30 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology


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