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Examination of bacterial characteristics of anaerobic membrane bioreactors in three pilot-scale plants for treating low-strength wastewater by application of the colony-forming-curve analysis method



Examination of bacterial characteristics of anaerobic membrane bioreactors in three pilot-scale plants for treating low-strength wastewater by application of the colony-forming-curve analysis method



Applied and Environmental Microbiology 58(9): 2751-2757



Characteristic sludge ecosystems arising in anaerobic membrane bioreactors of three pilot-scale plants treating low-strength (less than 1 g of biological oxygen demand per liter) sewage or soybean-processing wastewater were examined by analysis of the colony-forming-curves (CFC) obtained by counting colonies at suitable intervals. The wastewaters, containing high amounts of suspended solids (SS) (SS/chemical oxygen demand ratio, 0.51 to 0.80), were treated by using two types of bioreactors: (i) a hydrolyzation reactor for solubilization and acidification of SS in wastewater and (ii) a methane fermentation reactor for producing methane. The colony counts for the two sewage treatment plants continued to increase even after 3 weeks of incubation, whereas those for soybean-processing wastewater reached an approximately constant level within 3 weeks of incubation. The CFCs were analyzed by correlating the rate of colony appearance on roll tubes with the physiological types of bacteria present in the bioreactors. It was found that there were large numbers of slow-colony-forming anaerobic bacteria within the bioreactors and that the viable populations consisted of a few groups with different growth rates. It is considered that the slow-growing colonies appearing after 10 days of incubation were the dominant microflora in the sewage treated by hydrolyzation reactors. In particular, highly concentrated sludge (30.0 g of mixed-liquor volatile SS per liter) retained by the membrane separation module contained a large number of such bacteria. Slow-growing colonies of these bacteria could be counted by using a sludge extract medium prepared from only the supernatant of autoclaved sludge. In addition, the highest colony counts were almost always obtained with the sludge extract medium, meaning that most of the anaerobic bacteria in these sludges have complex nutrient requirements for growth. This report also indicates the usefulness of application of the CFC analysis method to the study of bacterial populations of anaerobic treatment systems.

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Accession: 049010142

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PMID: 16348765


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