Bioaugmentation (definition) is the addition of
commercially prepared bacterial cultures to
supplement the existing bacterial
population. These selectively adapted
bacteria are used to enhance bio-mass activity by
correcting or improving the current process.
Other products may be used to stimulate growth of
bacteria by addressing deficiencies encountered
(micronutrients, vitamins, etc.).
of Bioaugmentation include the following:
- Accelerate system startups to achieve
steady-state operation in days as opposed to
- Enhance removal of pass-through or
difficult-to-degrade compounds (surfactants,
solvents, FOG’s, petroleum hydrocarbons,
- Improve BOD and Total Suspended Solids
(TSS) removal efficiency.
- Sludge reduction through increased
enzymatic activity on biodegradable
- Foam reduction due to degradation of
surfactants and de-stabilization of filamentous
- Odor reduction due to greater degradation
of odor-causing compounds (H2S,
mercaptans, amines, volatile fatty acids,
- Improved solid settling by
destabilizing filamentous organisms.
- Other benefits include improved
nitrification (ammonia removal), polymer
reduction, greater oxygen transfer efficiency,
and less costly alternative to retrofitting
plant in some cases.
The bacteria chosen must be non-pathogenic
(non-disease causing) and safe, and are usually
selected for their ability to degrade substrates
(food sources) such as proteins, starch,
cellulose, FOG’s, petroleum hydrocarbons,
mercaptans (hydrogen sulfide derivatives),
surfactants, ammonia, etc.
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