Aerobic granular sludge and naphthenic acids treatment by varying initial concentrations and supplemental carbon concentrations.


Department of Civil Engineering, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Alberta, T2N 1N4, Canada. Electronic address: [Email]


Aerobic granular sludge (AGS) has previously been utilized in the treatment of toxic compounds due to its diverse and dense microbial structure. The present study subjected mature AGS to model naphthenic acids (NAs) representative of the Canadian oil sands. To this effect, three NA concentrations (10, 50 and 100 mg/L) and three supplemental carbon source concentrations (600, 1200 and 2500 mg/L) were studied in batch reactors for 5 days. The responding variables were chemical oxygen demand (COD), NA concentrations and nutrients. Cyclohexane carboxylic acid (CHCA), cyclohexane acetic acid (CHAA) and 1-adamantane carboxylic acid (ACA) were chosen to study structure-based degradation kinetics. The optimal COD according to the runs was 1200 mg/L. CHCA was removed completely with biodegradation rate constants increasing with lower NA concentrations and lower COD concentrations. CHAA was also removed completely, however, an optimal rate constant of 1.9 d-1 was achieved at NA and COD concentrations of 50 mg/L and 1200 mg/L, respectively. ACA removal trends did not follow statistically significant regressions; however, degradation and sorption helped remove ACA up to 19.9%. Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Hyphomonas and Brevundimonas spp. increased over time, indicating increased AGS adaptability to NAs.


1-Adamantane carboxylic acid,Aerobic granular sludge,Cyclohexane acetic acid,Cyclohexane carboxylic acid,Naphthenic acids (NAs),