Indexed on: 29 Dec '16Published on: 29 Dec '16Published in: Environmental Science & Technology
Aminobacter sp. MSH1 immobilized in an alginate matrix in porous stones, was tested in a pilot system as an alternative inoculation strategy to the use of free suspended cells for biological removal of micropollutant concentrations of BAM in drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs). BAM removal rates and MSH1 cell numbers were recorded during operation and assessed with specific BAM-degradation rates obtained in lab conditions using either freshly grown cells or starved cells to explain reactor performance. Both reactors inoculated with either suspended or immobilized cells showed immediate BAM removal under the threshold of 0.1 µg/L but the duration of sufficient BAM removal was two-fold (44 days) longer for immobilized cells. The longer sufficient BAM removal in case of immobilized cells compared to suspended cells was mainly explained by a lower initial loss of MSH1 cells at operational start due to volume replacement and shear. Overall loss of activity in the reactors though was due to starvation and final removal rates did not differ between reactors inoculated with immobilized and suspended cells. Management of Assimilable Organic Carbon in addition to cell immobilization appears crucial for guaranteeing long term BAM degradation activity of MSH1 in DWTP units.