Soluble microbial products (SMP) are soluble organic compounds released during normal biomass metabolism in mixed culture biotechnology. In this review, we give the up-to-date status on several essential SMP issues: mechanisms of SMP formation, differentiation between utilization-associated products (UAP) and biomass-associated products (BAP), biodegradability of the SMP components, how formation of SMP by autotrophs controls effluent quality and supports a substantial population of heterotrophs, mathematical modeling that includes SMP, and improving effluent quality by controlling SMP. We also present two timely examples that highlight our current understanding and give an indication of how SMP affects the performance of modern mixed culture biotechnology: membrane fouling of membrane bioreactors (MBRs) and the dynamics of SMP in anaerobic systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)454-463
Number of pages10
JournalTrends in Biotechnology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering


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