Bioresource Technology, Vol.272, 226-234, 2019
Understanding of aerobic sludge granulation enhanced by sludge retention time in the aspect of quorum sensing
Aerobic granular sludge (AGS) reactors with different sludge retention times (SRTs) were established for enhanced functional microorganism enrichment and granular formation. Results showed that higher total nitrogen (TN) removal efficiency and compact granules were achieved in the 6-day-SRT reactor. Also, Xanthomonadaceae, Rhodobacteraceae and Hyphomonadaceae with AHL-producing and EPS-secreting functions also enriched under 6-day SRT. For investigating the enhanced mechanism of sludge granulation, typical quorum sensing signals of acylated-homoserine-lactones (AHLs) and extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) were analyzed. Tryptophan-and-protein-like substances were major EPS components in granules formed at 6-day SRT. Meanwhile, most detected AHLs, i.e. C8-HSL and 3OHC8-HSL, were correlated positively with contents of tryptophan-and-protein-like substances. According to AHLs add-back test, AHLs especially those with 8-carbon sidechains, played important roles in aerobic sludge granulation via secreting special extracellular proteins by functional microbes enrichment.