Assessment of Microbial Community Structure and Function in Serially Passaged Wastewater Electro-Bioreactor Sludge: An Approach to Enhance Sludge Settleability

Nancy A. Elnaker, Maria Elektorowicz, Vincenzo Naddeo, Shadi W. Hasan, Ahmed F. Yousef

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Several studies have been carried out to understand bulking phenomena and the importance of environmental factors on sludge settling characteristics. The main objective of this study was to carry out functional characterization of microbial community structure of wastewater electro-bioreactor sludge as it undergoes serial passaging in the presence or absence of a current density over 15 days. Illumina MiSeq sequencing and QIIME were used to assess sludge microbial community shifts over time. (α) and (β) diversity analysis were conducted to assess the microbial diversity in electro-bioreactors. A phylogeny-based weighted UniFrac distance analysis was used to compare between bacterial communities while BIO-ENV trend and Spearman's rank correlation analysis were performed to investigate how reactor operational parameters correlated with bacterial community diversity. Results showed that the removal efficiency of soluble chemical oxygen demand (sCOD) ranged from 91-97%, while phosphorous (PO4 3--P) removal was approximately 99%. Phylogenetic analysis revealed stark differences in the development of sludge microbial communities in the control and treatment reactor. There was no mention of any studies aimed at characterizing functional microbial communities under electric field and the results communicated here are the first, to our knowledge, that address this gap in the literature.

Original languageBritish English
Article number7013
JournalScientific Reports
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018

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