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Enhanced efficacy of nitrifying biomass by modified PVA_SB entrapment technique

Qiao, Sen, Duan, Xiumei, Zhou, Jiti, Cheng, Yingjun, Bhatti, Zafar
World journal of microbiology & biotechnology 2014 v.30 no.7 pp. 1985-1992
biomass, hydrocolloids, mass transfer, microbial growth, microstructure, oxidation, oxygen, polyvinyl alcohol, scanning electron microscopy, sodium bicarbonate, surface area
In this study, we developed a novel technique for preparing polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) hydrogel as an immobilizing matrix by the addition of sodium bicarbonate. This resulted in an increase in the specific surface area of PVA_sodium bicarbonate (PVA_SB) hydrogel beads to 65.23 m² g⁻¹hydrogel beads, which was approximately 85 and 14 % higher than those of normal PVA and PVA_sodium alginate (PVA_SA) hydrogel beads, respectively. The D ₑ value of PVA_SB hydrogel beads was calculated as 7.49 × 10⁻⁴ cm² s⁻¹, which was similar to the D ₑ of PVA_SA hydrogel beads but nearly 38 % higher than that of the normal PVA hydrogel beads. After immobilization with nitrifying biomass, the oxygen uptake rate and the ammonium oxidation rate of nitrifying biomass entrapped in PVA_SB hydrogel beads were determined to be 19.53 mg O₂ g MLVSS⁻¹ h⁻¹and 10.59 mg N g MLVSS⁻¹ h⁻¹, which were 49 and 43 % higher than those of normal PVA hydrogel beads, respectively. Scanning electron microscopy observation of the PVA_SB hydrogel beads demonstrated relatively higher specific surface area and revealed loose microstructure that was considered to provide large spaces for microbial growth. This kind of structure was also considered beneficial for reducing mass transfer resistance and increasing pollutant uptake.