Impact of excessive aeration on biological phosphorus removal from wastewater

D. Brdjanovic*, A. Slamet, M. C.M. Van Loosdrecht, C. M. Hooijmans, G. J. Alaerts, J. J. Heijnen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

158 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of excessive aeration on biological phosphorus removal (BPR) processes is studied using a laboratory anaerobic-aerobic-settling sequencing batch reactor. It is demonstrated that the phosphorus uptake stops due to a gradual depletion of poly-hydroxy-butyrate (PHB) in an over-aerated process. If organic substrate is introduced to the system, phosphorus release is immediately at its maximal rate. However, the released phosphorus cannot be taken-up fully again because PHB content limits the uptake rate. Consequently, incomplete phosphorus uptake leads to temporary reduction of BPR efficiency. This causal effect can explain the deterioration of BPR efficiency after heavy rainfall.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-208
Number of pages9
JournalWater Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Aeration control
  • Biological phosphorus removal
  • Decay
  • Excessive aeration
  • Glycogen
  • Low loading
  • Maintenance
  • PHB
  • Polyphosphate
  • Rainfall


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