Quorum quenching (QQ) bacteria entrapped in a polymeric composite hydrogel (QQ medium) have been successfully applied in membrane bioreactors (MBRs) for effective biofouling control. However, in order to bring QQ technology closer to practice, the physical strength and lifetime of QQ media should be improved. In this study, enforcement of physical strength, as well as an extension of the lifetime of a previously reported QQ bacteria entrapping hollow cylinder (QQ-HC), was sought by adding a dehydration procedure following the cross-linking of the polymeric hydrogel by inorganic compounds like Ca2+ and boric acid. Such prepared medium demonstrated enhanced physical strength possibly through an increased degree of physical cross-linking. As a result, a longer lifetime of QQ-HCs was confirmed, which led to improved biofouling mitigation performance of QQ-HC in an MBR. Furthermore, QQ-HCs stored under dehydrated condition showed higher QQ activity when the storage time lasted more than 90 days owing to enhanced cell viability. In addition, the dormant QQ activity after the dehydration step could be easily restored through reactivation with real wastewater, and the reduced weight of the dehydrated media is expected to make handling and transportation of QQ media highly convenient and economical in practice.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Convergence Technology Program (2015001640001), which is funded by the Korea Ministry of Environment (MOE).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology