Assessment of the endogenous respiration rate and the observed biomass yield for methanol-fed denitrifying bacteria under anoxic and aerobic conditions
In this study, the endogenous respiration rate and the observed biomass yield of denitrifying methylotrophic biomass were estimated through measuring changes in denitrification rates (DNR) as a result of maintaining the biomass under methanol deprived conditions. For this purpose, activated sludge biomass from a full-scale wastewater treatment plant was kept in 10-L batch reactors for 8 days under fully aerobic and anoxic conditions at 20 °C without methanol addition. To investigate temperature effects, another biomass sample was placed under starvation conditions over a period of 10 days under aerobic conditions at 25 °C. A series of secondary batch tests were conducted to measure DNR and observed biomass yields. The decline in DNR over the starvation period was used as a surrogate to biomass decay rate in order to infer the endogenous respiration rates of the methylotrophs. The regression analysis on the declining DNR data shows 95% confidence intervals of 0.130 ± 0.017 day−1 for endogenous respiration rate under aerobic conditions at 20 °C, 0.102 ± 0.013 day−1 under anoxic conditions at 20 °C, and 0.214 ± 0.044 day−1 under aerobic conditions at 25 °C. Results indicated that the endogenous respiration rate of methylotrophs is 20% slower under anoxic conditions than under aerobic conditions, and there is a significant temperature dependency, with an Arrhenius coefficient of 1.10. The observed biomass yield value showed an increasing trend from approximately 0.2 to 0.6 when the starvation time increased from 0 to 10 days.