39 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, it is proposed that short sequencing batch reactor (SBR) cycles select and maintain a robust and active biomass, able to cope with typical disturbances occurring in wastewater treatment plants. In order to test this hypothesis, an SBR system was subjected to COD, N and P shock loads. It was shown that the sludge enriched in the SBR operated with short cycles was able to rapidly recover from the tested disturbances. COD and N removal recovered within 1-2 days for shock loads of 10 times the standard concentration. The P removal took up to 2-3 sludge ages to fully recover from the COD spike, but the enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) performance was still able to be totally re-established after each of the tests, even in theoretically adverse conditions for the growth of polyphosphate accumulating organisms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1969-1976
JournalBioresource Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


  • Enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR)
  • Glycogen accumulating organisms (GAO)
  • Nitrogen removal
  • Polyphosphate accumulating organisms (PAO)
  • Temperature


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