Polyhydroxyalkanoate Production within a Novel WRRF Configuration Thesis uri icon



  • Thesis (M.S., Civil Engineering) -- University of Idaho, 2016 | The perception of wastewater has evolved from being simply described as a waste product to a recoverable resource. Wastewater contains sources of soluble carbon that have the potential of being transformed to polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) and marketed as a consumer product. Polyhydroxyalkanoates are a biologically produced biodegradable thermoplastic with similar properties to polypropylene and polyethylene. This study investigates the potential of PHA production within the context of a novel post-anoxic wastewater treatment configuration (referred to as the BIOPHO-PX process, trademark under development by Dr. Erik Coats of the University of Idaho). The goal is to investigate the effects of treatment environments (anaerobic, aerobic, anoxic) on PHA production along with varying loading rates of volatile fatty acids (VFAs). In conclusion that biomass drawn from anaerobic environments and subjected to lower (e.g. Food:Microorganism ratio < 0.30 mgCOD/mgVSS) VFA loading rates maximize PHA accumulation, while maintaining a high (>0.75 Cmmol PHA/Cmmol VFA) PHA carbon yield.

publication date

  • June 1, 2016