Study of the Effect of SRT on Microbial Diversity in Laboratory-scale Sequencing Batch Reactors Using Acclimated and Non-Acclimated Seed

  • Berenice Tellez

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Solids Retention Time (SRT) is an important design parameter in activated sludge wastewater treatment systems. In this study, the effect of SRT on the bacterial community structure and diversity was examined in replicate lab-scale activated sludge sequencing batch reactors were operated for a period of 8 weeks and seeded with acclimated or non-acclimated sludge. Four SBRs (acclimated) were set up as duplicates and operated at an SRT of 2 days, and another set of four SBRs (non-acclimated) were operated at an SRT of 10 days. To characterize the microbial community in the SBRs, 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing was used to measure biodiversity and to assess the reproducibility and stability of the bacterial community structure in replicate reactors. Diversity results showed that SBRs operated at an SRT of 10 days are more diverse than SBRs operated at an SRT of 2 days. This suggests that engineering decision could enhance diversity in activated sludge systems. Cluster analysis based on phylogenetic information revealed that the bacterial community structure was not stable and replicated SBRs evolved differently.
Date of AwardJul 7 2011
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Biological, Environmental Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorPascal Saikaly (Supervisor)

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