Author(s): Yu GH, He PJ, Shao LM
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Abstract Extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) of biological origin are ubiquitous in excess sludges and can be applied as an underlying bioflocculant, owing to their high content of macromolecules and cations. However, low flocculating activity limits the feasibility of their practical applications. This study provides a novel EPS fractionation approach to improve their flocculability by extracting an active EPS fraction and removing the others with low flocculability. The results showed that for two excess sludges (called sludge A and sludge B), the tightly bound EPS (TB-EPS) fraction possessed a high flocculating rate to kaolin suspension compared with the other EPS fractions [i.e., supernatant, slime, and loosely bound EPS (LB-EPS) fraction] (>54.1+/-1.4\% vs <7.8+/-1.6\%). High bioflocculability of TB-EPS fraction could be attributable to high contents of macromolecules (330-1200 kDa) and trivalent cations (Fe(3+) and Al(3+)). Further investigation reveals that the TB-EPS fraction caused aggregation of particles by bridging and sweep flocculation.
This article was published in Bioresour Technol
and referenced in Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation