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Application of low intensity ultrasound to enhance the activity of anammox microbial consortium for nitrogen removal

Duan, Xiumei, Zhou, Jiti, Qiao, Sen, Wei, Haifeng
Bioresource technology 2011 v.102 no.5 pp. 4290-4293
cell walls, fertilizer rates, microbial activity, nitrogen, nitrogen content, transmission electron microscopy, ultrasonics
In this study, effect of low intensity ultrasound on the activity of anammox microbial consortium for nitrogen removal was investigated through batch experiments at the same irradiation frequency of 25kHz. Total nitrogen removal rate increased by about 25.5% when ultrasound intensity of 0.3wcm⁻² was applied at an optimal irradiation time of 4min, and further experiments demonstrated that this effect could last for about 6days. Analysis of extracellular polymeric substances indicated that the maximum increase of carbohydrate, protein and total extracellular substances was obtained on the first day after ultrasound, which was 28.8%, 30.5% and 29.7%, respectively. As the time prolonged, the production rate of extracellular carbohydrate, protein decreased gradually. Transmission electron microscopy observation demonstrated that ultrasounded cell wall of anammox microbial consortium became thinner resulting in increased release of extracellular substances. The results suggested that application of low intensity ultrasound may enhance the activity of anammox microbial consortium and ultimately the potential for nitrogen removal.