In an earlier post, I discussed the importance of biological polymers - extracellular polysaccharides (EPS) and the other extra cellular materials that make up the "glue" that hold floc together. This glue action binds bacterial cells and large particles into a particle size that readily settles in final clarification. It should be noted that floc is the same as a biofilm with respect to microbial ecology.
The extracellular materials help the organisms by providing a protected, more stable environment, help prevent predation, improve access to nutrients and micronurtrients, and bind insoluble materials for later breakdown/utilization by the microbes.
For the past week, I have been screening a high soluble BOD wastewater stream (BOD5 of 4,200 mg/L) with high levels of starches, organic acids, and proteins. I was looking for ways to increase floc formation and improve water clarity, lower TSS before discharge. After searching various microbes for blending, I looked for strains with the capability of producing a cationic, high molecular weight polymer that remains attached to cell. The optimal strains would also produce this polymer during log growth which is a not commonly seen.
Adding these cultures to existing biomass created big changes in a 40 hour study. The results were easily seen in photos.
Erik Rumbaugh has been involved in biological waste treatment for over 20 years. He has worked with industrial and municipal wastewater facilities to ensure optimal performance of their treatment systems. He is a founder of Aster Bio (www.asterbio.com) specializing in biological waste treatment.
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