Aerobically Grown Microbial Granules

Formation of fungal spherical pellets is a common phenomena during cultivation of mycelial fungi or acinomycetes in shaking flask or stirred fermentor. This aggregation was an important process in industrial synthesis of antibiotics by mycelial fungi or acinomycetes and actively studied in 1960s. Current interest to aerobically grown microbial granules is related to their formation during the wastewater treatment in sequencing batch reactors (SBR). Aerobically grown microbial granules are actively investigated as bioagents for the biological treatment of wastewater. The main advantages of these microbial aggregates over conventional microbial flocs used in the wastewater treatment are short settling times and the ability to treat high strength wastewa-ter (Morgenroth et al., 1997; Beun et al., 1999, 2000, 2002; Peng et al., 1999; Etterer and Wilderer, 2001; Tay et al., 2001a,b, 2003a,b; Moy et al., 2002; Toh et al., 2002; Zhu and Wilderer, 2003). It is assumed that there will be no need to construct and use secondary settling tanks, occupying huge area of wastewater treatment plant, in case when microbial granules will be used as the bioagents in wastewater treatment.

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