Adaptation of microbial communities in activated sludge to 1-decyl-3-methylimidazolium bromide

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

The effects of 1-decyl-3-methylimidazolium bromide on activated sludge process and microbial composition were investigated. Ionic liquid (IL) was dosed continuously to the laboratory activated sludge system at an influent concentration from 1 to 20 mg l−1 for about 1 month. As compared to the control test, mean values of degree of chemical oxygen demand removal and degree of biochemical oxygen demand removal were almost remaining constant at a high level, equaling 92.6% and 98.1%, respectively. In addition, no influence of IL on size and shape of flocs was observed. The values of the sludge biotic index indicate that sludge exposed on IL was stable and very well colonized with good biological activity. Increases in Proteobacteria (mainly Variovorax sp., Vogesella sp., Hydrogenophaga sp.), Bacteroidetes (mainly Lewinella sp., Haliscomenobacter sp., Runella sp.) and Nitrospirae were detected in sludge adapted to IL compared to the control system. The results showed that activated sludge can adapt to IL present in wastewater.

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