A metabolic model for biological phosphorus removal by denitrifying organisms

T. Kuba, E. Murnleitner, M. C.M. Van Loosdrecht, J. J. Heijnen

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147 Citations (Scopus)


A metabolic model for biological phosphorus removal under denitrifying conditions has been established. The model is based on previous work with aerobic phosphorus removal. The form of the kinetic equations used is the same as for the aerobic model. The main difference is the value of P/NADH2 ratio in the electron transport phosphorylation with nitrate (δ(N)). This value was determined independently from batch tests with an enriched culture of denitrifying phosphorus-removing bacteria. The measured δ(N) was approximately 1.0 mol ATP/mol NADH2. This indicates that the energy production efficiency with nitrate compared to oxygen is approximately 40% lower. These batch tests were also used to identify a proper set of kinetic parameters. The obtained model was subsequently applied for the simulation of cyclic behavior in an anaerobic-anoxic sequencing batch reactor at different biomass retention times. The simulation results showed that the metabolic model can be used successfully for the denitrifying dephosphatation process. The obtained kinetic parameters for denitrifying enrichment cultures, however, deviated from those obtained for the aerobic enrichment cultures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)685-695
Number of pages11
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 20 1996
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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