Polyhydroxyalkanoates production by activated sludge in a SBR using acetate and propionate as carbon sources

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In this work, sludge was submitted to aerobic dynamic substrate feeding. Two sequencing batch reactors were operated, with acetate or propionate as carbon substrates. When acetate was used the system only produced a homopolymer of polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB). In order to maximize the PHB production, tests with different concentrations of acetate and ammonia were preformed. The best results (67.2% of PHB by cell dry weight) were obtained for 0.7 Nmmol/l of ammonia and 180 Cmmol/l of acetate. The PHB cell content was further improved by pulse addition of substrate, three times 60 Cmmol/l of acetate, reaching a value of 78.5%. Propionate can be used as a precursor for hydroxyvalerate. In conjunction with other substrates, it allows for the formation of copolymers, which present better processing properties on commercial applications. Tests with different concentrations of propionate and ammonia were performed. Under the operating conditions used, the maximum PHA accumulated inside cells was 34.8%, with 30 Cmmol/l of propionate and no ammonia.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)189-194
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004

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