The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of bioaugmentation with Archaea domain organisms on the activated sludge (AS) expressed by the oxygen uptake rate (OUR) in a laboratory sequencing batch reactor (SBR). The influence of depletion of the external substrate in bioaugmented (SBR-A) and non-bioaugmented (SBR-B) activated sludge during aerobic stabilization was investigated. The experiment was divided into two steps. First, the OUR was measured in the standard conditions of biological treatment. Second, AS was only aerated in the absence of the substrate. It was observed that bioaugmentation with Archaea had an increasing effect on the endogenous and exogenous OUR of the sludge in both phases. In the first phase, the average endogenous OUR was 28.70 ± 2.75 and 21.63 ± 0.9 mgO2
in the SBR-A and SBR-B, respectively. Regarding the exogenous OUR, the average values were 95.55 ± 11.33 and 57.15 ± 24.56 mgO2
for the SBR-A and SBR-B, respectively. Archaea enhancing its biological activity, expressed as the OUR, exert a stabilizing effect on this parameter of AS and ensure its lower sensitivity to changes in the process conditions, substrate supply disruption and prolonged aeration.
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