Microbial Population Structures in Activated Sludge Before and After the Application of Synthetic Polymer

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Since Juang (2005) has found that the sludge settleability became much worse and the flocs displayed as pin flocs in only a few days after the addition of synthetic polymer was halted, it is hypothesized that the shift of microbial population in activated sludge before and after the addition of synthetic polymer might have occurred. Therefore, the identification of microbial population in the activated sludge of a lab-scaled continuous-flow type of treatment reactor was conducted at different phases of this study. The results of this study showed that the presence of synthetic polymer inhibited the growth of dominant bacteria and floc-formers in activated sludge, but gave a competitive advantage of growth to some other bacteria. The addition of synthetic polymer has caused the shift of microbial population and affected the growth of floc-formers in activated sludge. It took more than one month for the population structure of predominant microorganisms in activated sludge to return more closely to the initial population structure.

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