Performance and microbial community analysis of bioaugmented activated sludge for nitrogen-containing organic pollutants removal

Yuanyuan Qu , Xuwang Zhang , Zhaojian Song , Qidong Tang , Minghuo Wu , Hao Zhou , Lifen Liu


Received July 25, 2020,Revised , Accepted September 08, 2020, Available online September 16, 2020

Volume 101,2021,Pages 373-381

Nitrogen-containing organic pollutants (quinoline, pyridine and indole) are widely distributed in coking wastewater, and bioaugmentation with specific microorganisms may enhance the removal of these recalcitrant pollutants. The bioaugmented system (group B) was constructed through inoculation of two aromatics-degrading bacteria, Comamonas sp. Z1 (quinoline degrader) and Acinetobacter sp. JW (indole degrader), into the activated sludge for treatment of quinoline, indole and pyridine, and the non-bioaugmented activated sludge was used as the control (group C). Both groups maintained high efficiencies (> 94%) for removal of nitrogen-containing organic pollutants and chemical oxygen demand (COD) during the long-term operation, and group B was highly effective at the starting period and the operation stage fed with raw wastewater. High-throughput sequencing analysis indicated that nitrogen-containing organic pollutants could shape the microbial community structure, and communities of bioaugmented group B were clearly separated from those of non-bioaugmented group C as observed in non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) plot. Although the inoculants did not remain their dominance in group B, bioaugmentation could induce the formation of effective microbial community, and the indigenous microbes might play the key role in removal of nitrogen-containing organic pollutants, including Dokdonella, Comamonas and Pseudoxanthomonas. Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt) analysis suggested that bioaugmentation could facilitate the enrichment of functional genes related to xenobiotics biodegradation and metabolism, probably leading to the improved performance in group B. This study indicated that bioaugmentation could promote the removal of nitrogen-containing organic pollutants, which should be an effective strategy for wastewater treatment.

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