Membrane-aerated biofilm reactors (MABRs) support biofilms that receive oxygen and nutrients from opposite sides of the biofilm and thus should behave differently than the activated sludge process. Population modeling predicted the simultaneous presence of aerobic heterotrophs, nitrifying bacteria, denitrifying bacteria, and acetoclastic methanogens in a membrane-supported biofilm. Community analysis by PCR-DGGE demonstrated that a pilot-scale MABR supported a significantly different structure than an activated sludge process. Nitrifying bacteria were not identified in either the MABR or activated sludge community due to an unexpected artifact. Nitrite reductase genes were detected in both samples. Our results suggest that MABRs support unique microbial populations that have the potential to remove both nitrogenous and carbonaceous pollutants from waste water.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This researchw asfinancially supportedb y the United StatesN ationalS cienceF oundation( BES-0123394)a nd the Water Environment Research Foundation( WERF/OO-CTS-11). We thank Sara Fir1 for technical assistance.
- Denitrifying bacteria
- Nitrifying bacteria
- Population modelling