What is Non filamentous bulking?
It is critical for floc development in suspended growth wastewater treatment plants as well as biofilm creation in attached growth wastewater treatment plants. Wastewater treatment plants are generally built to work in the decline phase of growth, when microbial division stops and cells begin to agglomerate.
Role of EPS in wastewater treatment systems
The generation of EPS or extracellular polymeric substances is critical to aggregate formation. EPS, which is composed of polysaccharides, proteins, nucleic acids, and a range of metabolic wastes, serves to protect and sustain cells under the stress of low soluble organics (food). Another role of EPS is the collection and storage of nutrients like as nitrogen, phosphorus, and metals. Normal operations need the right amount of EPS for solids removal and aids in the removal of phosphates in biological nutrient removal systems.The issues arise when the biomass produces an excessive amount of EPS.
What are the main organisms in charge of non-filamentous bulking?
The key contributors to non-filamentous bulking are as follows:
1: Thauera - The most frequent organisms in industrial activated sludge and lagoons during the decline phase of development.
2: Zooglea – It is more prevalent in household wastewater.
3: Azoarucs- It is the third species of the Zooglea genus.
While these organisms can cause non-filamentous bulking, they are also major donors to the EPS required for floc formation, organics removal (BOD/COD), and are even excellent denitrifiers.
So, what triggers the shift from excellent to excess EPS?
1-Organic acids, for example, have a high soluble organic content. Cells retain excess soluble BOD in EPS. The energy is stored in the EPS for future usage by the cells. If there is insufficient F/M or time for the digestion of stored organics, EPS builds and finally causes bulking.
2-If you have an oversupply of soluble organics but not enough N, P, or another important micronutrient, in this situation, the cells store carbon in the EPS because they lack some important nutrient(s) required to proliferate, create enzymes, and maintain full cell metabolic activity.
The “Zooglea” and “Thauera” genera are responsible for the majority of non-filamentous bulking occurrences. At normal levels, both Zooglea and Thauera are useful for organics removal and producing a good EPS that develops floc. Problems arise when they begin to overproduce EPS, which can be caused by excessive levels of organic acids, a lack of macronutrients, or insoluble organics. EPS serves to store organics for eventual utilization by bacteria. If they do not consume the stored "food" before being "fed" again, their EPS rises. While the F/M ratio aids in the identification of feeding circumstances, utilizing genetic testing to track the actual population of bulking genera can also forecast the possibility of a non-filamentous bulking event.
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