Impact of acclimation methods on microbial communities and performance of anaerobic fluidized bed membrane bioreactors

Nicole Labarge, Yaoli Ye, Kyoung Yeol Kim, Yasemin Dilsad Yilmazel, Pascal Saikaly, Pei-Ying Hong, Bruce E. Logan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


An anaerobic fluidized bed membrane bioreactor (AFMBR) is a new and effective method for energy-efficient treatment of low strength wastewater, but the factors that affect performance are not well known. Different inocula and acclimation methods of the granular activated carbon (GAC) used in the reactor were examined here to determine their impact on chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal and microbial community composition of domestic wastewater-fed AFMBRs. AFMBRs inoculated with anaerobic digester sludge (D) or domestic wastewater (W) and fed domestic wastewater, or inoculated with a microbiologically diverse anaerobic bog sediment and acclimated using methanol (M), all produced the same COD removal of 63 ± 12% using a diluted wastewater feed (100 ± 21 mg L−1 COD). However, an AFMBR with GAC inoculated with anaerobic digester sludge and acclimated using acetate (A) showed significantly increased wastewater COD removal to 84 ± 6%. In addition, feeding the AFMBR with the M-acclimated GAC with an acetate medium for one week subsequently increased COD removal to 70 ± 6%. Microbial communities enriched on the GAC included Geobacter, sulfur-reducing bacteria, Syntrophaceae, and Chlorobiaceae, with reactor A having the highest relative abundance of Geobacter. These results showed that acetate was the most useful substrate for acclimation of GAC communities, and GAC harbors unique communities relative to those in the AFMBR influent and recirculated solution.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1041-1048
Number of pages8
JournalEnviron. Sci.: Water Res. Technol.
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): OSR-2015-SEED-2450-01
Acknowledgements: The authors would like to thank Dr. Hiroyuki Kashima for help with community analysis. This work was supported by Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP), and Award OSR-2015-SEED-2450-01 from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of acclimation methods on microbial communities and performance of anaerobic fluidized bed membrane bioreactors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this