Metabolic behavior of denitrifying phosphate-accumulating organisms under nitrate and nitrite electron acceptor conditions

Johwan Ahn, Tomotaka Daidou, Satoshi Tsuneda, Akira Hirata

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The effects of various types of electron acceptors on anoxic phosphorus uptake were investigated in detail to obtain a better insight into the metabolic behavior of denitrifying phosphate-accumulating organisms. Batch experimental tests under three different electron acceptor conditions, i.e., nitrate, nitrite and mixtures of nitrate and nitrite, were carried out using activated sludge cultivated in a sequencing batch reactor. The experimental results confirmed no inhibition of the utilization of nitrate or nitrite as an electron acceptor for anoxic phosphorus uptake. Anoxic phosphorus uptake occurred provided there was an electron acceptor present regardless of whether it was nitrate or nitrite. However, for nitrite a relatively small amount of anoxic phosphorus was taken up per nitrogen denitrified compared to nitrate. On the other hand, the amount of anoxic phosphorus taken up per nitrogen denitrified increased with an increase in the initial loading amount of electron acceptor in the case of nitrate, whereas it slightly decreased nitrite. Moreover, the amount of phosphorus taken up per nitrogen denitrified decreased with increasing mixed liquor suspended solid (MLSS) concentration in the case of nitrate, while it slightly increased for nitrite. From these results, it was confirmed that the activity of anoxic phosphorus uptake is strongly associated with the type and the initial loading amount of electron acceptor and the MLSS concentration under anoxic conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442-446
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Bioscience and Bioengineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Jan 1



  • Anoxic phosphorus uptake
  • Biological nutrient removal
  • Denitrifying phosphate-accumulating organisms
  • Electron acceptor
  • Enhanced biological phosphorus removal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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