Mixed carbon sources for nitrate reduction in activated sludge-identification of bacteria and process activity studies.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Mixtures of methanol and acetate as carbon source were investigated in order to determine their capacity to enhance denitrification and for analysis of the microbial composition and carbon degradation activity in activated sludge from wastewater treatment plants. Laboratory batch reactors at 20 degrees C were used for nitrate uptake rate (NUR) measurements in order to investigate the anoxic activity, while single and mixed carbon substrates were added to activated sludge. Microautoradiography (MAR) in combination with fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) were applied for microbial analysis during exposure to different carbon sources. The NUR increased with additions of a mixture of acetate and methanol compared with additions of a single carbon source. MAR-FISH measurements demonstrated that the probe-defined group of Azoarcus was the main group of bacteria utilising acetate and the only active group utilising methanol under anoxic conditions. The present study indicated an improved denitrification potential by additions of a mixed carbon source compared with commonly used single-carbon additions. It is also established that Azoarcus bacteria are involved in the degradation of both acetate and methanol in the anoxic activated sludge.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Chemical Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Engineering
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1539-1546
JournalWater Research
Issue number6-7
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Publication categoryResearch