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Influence of Thermal Extraction of Extracellular Polymeric Substances on Cell Integrity in Activated Sludge and Membrane Bioreactor Samples

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Abstract:

The influence of the soluble microbial products (SMP) and extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) heating extraction method on cell viability was evaluated for each phase of the protocol using epifluorescence microscopy. In addition, the effect of different centrifugation conditions (2700 g at 24 °C; 12 000 g at 4 °C) was also tested. Sludge samples were collected from a conventional wastewater treatment and a membrane bioreactor (MBR) pilot plant fed in parallel. Results show that different centrifugation parameters do not induce cell membrane damaging. Heating significantly influences membrane integrity; for instance, 75 to 90% of initial viable cells are damaged during this phase, possibly leading to the predominance of protein compared to carbohydrate content. The protein content in EPS is 60 to 88 mg bovine serum albumin/g volatile suspended solids (VSS); higher values observed in MBR sludge samples are probably attributable to the different characteristics of microbial flocs and process operating parameters. Carbohydrate concentrations are not significantly different regardless of applied procedure and sludge type, and are between 10.4 to 11.6 mg glucose/g VSS.

Keywords: activated sludge; epifluorescence microscopy; extracellular polymeric substances; extraction method; membrane bioreactor

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2175/106143010X12609736966568

Publication date: 2011-02-01

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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