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Disintegration of aerobic granules during prolonged operation


Aerobic granular sludge technology has been implemented for industrial and municipal wastewater treatment. However, large-scale application of this technology is still resctricted by the the challenging disintegration phenomenon during prolonged operation. Here, a comprehensive set of measurements was used in different stages of granule development to provide integrated investigation and reasonable explanation on the disintegration phenomenon. The results showed that during 460 days, intact young granules (IGY) grew into larger intact aged granules (IGA), then to crannied granules (CG), and finally to broken granules (BG). Compacter IGY with obvious calcium precipitation in the core grew into cavern-like structure IGA with calcium precipitation mainly on the outer and middle zone with aerobic granules growth. Meanwhile, increase of microaerophilic TM7, fermentative acidogenic class Cytophagia and proteins hydrolysis bacteria Saprospiraceae, as well as the decrease of microbial communities which can resist shear force and related to N-acyl-homoserine-lactones (AHLs) production were all observed with the growth of aerobic granules. The two main causes concerning disintegration (mass transfer limitation and microbial communities) of aerobic granules were closely related to the increase of granule size. It is critical to maintain aerobic granular sludge in a steady and healthy granule size for its prolonged operation.

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 Mar 2017, accepted on 12 May 2017 and first published on 16 May 2017

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7EW00072C
Citation: Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol., 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Disintegration of aerobic granules during prolonged operation

    S. Yuan, M. Gao, F. Zhu, M. Z. Afzal, Y. Wang, H. Xu, M. Wang, S. Wang and X. Wang, Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol., 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7EW00072C

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