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Bioresour Technol. 2001 Jul;78(3):267-72.

Production of a biopolymer flocculant from Bacillus licheniformis and its flocculation properties.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Engineering, Da-Yeh University, Taiwan, ROC.


Bacillus licheniformis CCRC 12826 produced extracellularly an excellent biopolymer flocculant in a large amount when it was grown aerobically in a culture medium containing citric acid, glutamic acid and glycerol as carbon sources. The biopolymer flocculant was an extremely viscous material with a molecular weight over 2 x 10(6) by gel permeation chromatography. It could be easily purified from the culture medium by ethanol precipitation. It was shown to be a homopolymer of glutamic acid by amino acid analysis and thin layer chromatography and presumed to be poly-glutamic acid (PGA). This bioflocculant efficiently flocculated various organic and inorganic suspensions. It flocculated a suspended kaolin suspension without cations, although its flocculating activity was synergistically stimulated by the addition of bivalent or trivalent cations Ca2+, Fe3+ and Al3+. However, the synergistic effects of metal cations were most effective at neutral pH ranges. The comparison of the flocculating activity between the present biopolymer and a commercial lower molecular weight product showed that the biopolymer of the present study had much higher activity. The high productivity and versatile applications of PGA make its development as a new biodegradable, harmless, biopolymer flocculant economical and advantageous.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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