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Water SA

On-line version ISSN 1816-7950
Print version ISSN 0378-4738

Water SA vol.34 n.3 Pretoria Mar. 2008


Hydrolytic enzymes in sewage sludge treatment: A mini-review



Jo E Burgess; Brett I Pletschke

Department of Biochemistry Microbiology and Biotechnology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa





Biological wastewater treatment processes can be classified as either aerobic or anaerobic. These two biological treatment processes are each characterised by groups of micro-organisms and their associated enzymes. Hydrolytic enzymes secreted by these micro-organisms are vital for the rate-limiting step of hydrolysis in the treatment of highly polymeric substrates present in sewage sludge. In this mini-review, the effects of mass transfer limitation, metabolic intermediates, extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), electron acceptor conditions and pH and temperature on the activity of these enzymes are summarised. The most salient and current perspectives of the significance and the role that hydrolytic enzymes play in sewage sludge treatment are highlighted.

Keywords: EPS, floc, hydrolases, pH, sewage, sludge, temperature



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Received 16 October 2007;
Accepted in revised form 3 June 2008.

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