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Thermodynamic modeling of algal cell–solid substrate interactions

Cui, Yan, Yuan, Wenqiao
Applied energy 2013 v.112 pp. 485-492
Nannochloropsis, Scenedesmus, energy, freshwater, glass, microalgae, microorganisms, models, nylon, polypropylenes, stainless steel, thermodynamics
The process of microalgal cell attachment to solid-carrier surfaces was simulated through a thermodynamic model. The modeling results showed that, for most microbes, when the polar surface energy of the cell is smaller than that of water, cellular attachment would be more favorable on materials with higher dispersive surface energy but lower polar surface energy. If the polar surface energy of the cell is greater than that of water, more cell attachment would be expected on materials that are higher in both dispersive and polar surface energies. Modeling results qualitatively matched experimental data in the attachment of a freshwater alga, Scenedesmus dimorphus, and a marine alga, Nannochloropsis oculata, on five materials (nylon, stainless steel, polycarbonate, polypropylene, and glass). The model was also validated by published literature data on a wider variety of microbes and materials, indicating that the model developed can be applicable in designing, selecting, and matching algal strains and solid carrier materials to enhance cell attachment.