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Water Sci Technol. 2003;47(11):37-43.

The effect of GAOs (glycogen accumulating organisms) on anaerobic carbon requirements in full-scale Australian EBPR (enhanced biological phosphorus removal) plants.

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Advanced Wastewater Management Centre (AWMC), The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Qld, 4072.


Glycogen-accumulating organisms (GAOs) were present in six full-scale plants investigated and in all but one made a significant contribution to the amount of volatile fatty acid (VFA) taken up anaerobically. While most plants surveyed contain GAOs, it was demonstrated that it is possible for a full-scale plant to operate with an insignificant GAO population. "Candidatus Accumulibacter phosphatis" were the significant polyphosphate-accumulating organisms (PAOs) in all plants surveyed. "Candidatus Competibacter phosphatis" were found in all plants along with other possible GAOs that were observed but not identified. A significant GAO population will increase the carbon requirements by removing VFA that could otherwise have been used by PAOs. Process optimization minimizing GAOs in full-scale plants would lead to a more efficient use of VFA.

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