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Heat measurements can provide a global evaluation of the metabolic activity of living organisms and, in particular, of microbial populations involved in wastewater treatment biological processes. Calorimetric techniques, in principle, can be used in investigating autotrophic or heterotrophic metabolism under aerobic, anoxic and anaerobic conditions because the measured net heat flux may be directly related to conversion rates of substrates or products and, therefore, to biomass activity. Using the Bio-RC1 heat flux bench-scale calorimeter, it was found that:
- The Bio-RC1 is a valuable tool for monitoring aerobic, anoxic and anaerobic bioprocesses.
- Biomass activity and toxicity effects in sludge samples drawn from full-scale wastewater treatment plants can be successfully investigated using the same experimental approach and the same apparatus.

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Additional information

Authors: DAVERIO E, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: An oral report given at: 1st IWA Young Researchers Conference Organised by: International Water Association (IWA) and the School of Water Sciences at Cranfield University Held at: Cranfield (GB), 9-10 September 2002
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