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Scanning. 2013 Sep-Oct;35(5):283-91. doi: 10.1002/sca.21064. Epub 2012 Nov 20.

Characteristics of biofilm attaching to carriers in moving bed biofilm reactor used to treat vitamin C wastewater.

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State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, School of the Environment, Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, People's Republic of China.


In order to investigate characteristics of biofilm attaching firmly to carriers in the moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) used for vitamin C wastewater treatment, experiments were undertaken with instrumental analysis methods. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) micrographs of MBBR biofilms revealed that there were rod-shaped microbes and cocci in the biofilm, and microbes were embedded within medium substances and the biofilm matrix adhered firmly to carriers, leading to the formation of a smooth compacted surface at the base of the biofilm. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis revealed that extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) layer surrounded cell, sequestered inorganics to form a mixed structure, which ensured firm attachment of the biofilm to the carrier. X-ray diffraction (XRD) experiments and thermogravimetry analysis revealed that (i) the biofilm contained many inorganic substances, about 70.5%, and the inorganic substances contained multiple classes of inorganic with a high boiling point; (ii) inorganic elements such as calcium and phosphorous were selectively absorbed and accumulated in the biofilm as insoluble compounds with amorphous phases, rendering the biofilm highly resistant to detachment. Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy showed carbohydrates were the main EPS.


MBBR biofilm; SEM/EDS; attachment; biofilm structure; image analysis

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