Bioresource technology

Bioaugmentation of activated sludge towards 3-chloroaniline removal with a mixed bacterial population carrying a degradative plasmid.

PMID 19268574


A bioaugmentation approach combining several strategies was applied to achieve degradation of 3-chloroaniline (3CA) in semicontinuous activated sludge reactors. In a first step, a 3CA-degrading Comamonas testosteroni strain carrying the degradative plasmid pNB2 was added to a biofilm reactor, and complete 3CA degradation together with spread of the plasmid within the indigenous biofilm population was achieved. A second set of reactors was then bioaugmented with either a suspension of biofilm cells removed from the carrier material or with biofilm-containing carrier material. 3CA degradation was established rapidly in all bioaugmented reactors, followed by a slow adaptation of the non-bioaugmented control reactors. In response to variations in 3CA concentration, all reactors exhibited temporary performance breakdowns. Whereas duplicates of the control reactors deviated in their behaviour, the bioaugmented reactors appeared more reproducible in their performance and population dynamics. Finally, the carrier-bioaugmented reactors showed an improved performance in the presence of high 3CA influent concentrations over the suspension-bioaugmented reactors. In contrast, degradation in one control reactor failed completely, but was rapidly established in the remaining control reactor.