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Calcium ion- and rhamnolipid-mediated deposition of soluble matters on biocarriers

Huang, Hui, Lin, Yuan, Peng, Pengcheng, Geng, Jinju, Xu, Ke, Zhang, Yan, Ding, Lili, Ren, Hongqiang
Water research 2018 v.133 pp. 37-46
biofilm, bioreactors, bovine serum albumin, calcium, ionic strength, models, polyamides, polystyrenes, quartz crystal microbalance, rhamnolipids, sodium alginate, wastewater
Start-up of biofilm process initiated by the deposition of soluble matters on biocarriers is a very important yet time-consuming procedure. However, rapid start-up methods especially in the enhancement of soluble matters deposition have been rarely addressed. In this study, a quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D) was applied to investigate the influences of calcium ion and rhamnolipid (RL) on the deposition of soluble matters from real and synthetic industrial wastewaters with different configurations of organics (bovine serum albumin and sodium alginate) and ionic strength on the model biocarriers polystyrene and polyamide. Results showed that deposition was effectively promoted by the addition of Ca2+ and along with the increase in Ca2+ content. However, RL enhanced the deposition effectively only in hyperhaline wastewater through breaking hydration repulsion and decreased the deposition in low-salinity wastewater, and its influence to the deposited layer property exhibited characteristics of negative feedback. The combined use of Ca2+ and RL had a better enhancement effect than that of separate use and the mechanism involved can not be soundly explained only by Derjaguin−Landau−Verwey−Overbeek (DLVO) theory. The strategy of mediating the deposition of soluble matters on different biocarriers by adding Ca2+ and RL has important implications for regulating biofilm formation to accelerate the start-up process in attached-growth bioreactors.