Environmental biology

Effects of solution conditions on the physicochemical properties of stratification components of extracellular polymeric substances in anaerobic digested sludge


Dongqin Yuan , Yili Wang

DOI:10.1016/S1001-0742(12)60038-2

Received April 05, 2012,Revised July 28, 2012, Accepted , Available online January 11, 2013

Volume ,2013,Pages 155-162

The composition and effects of solution conditions on the physicochemical properties of the stratification components of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) in anaerobic digested sludge were determined. The total EPS in anaerobic digested sludge were extracted by the cation exchange resin method. Another EPS extraction method, the centrifugation and sonication technique was employed to stratify the EPS into three fractions: slime, loosely bound (LB)-EPS, and tightly bound (TB)-EPS from the outside to the inside of the anaerobic digested sludge. Proteins and polysaccharides were dispersed uniformly across the different EPS fractions, and humic-like substances were mainly partitioned in the slime, with TB-EPS second. Protein was the major constituent of the LB-EPS and TB-EPS, and the corresponding ratios ranged from 54.0% to 65.6%. The hydrophobic part in the EPS chemical components was primarily comprised of protein and DNA, while the hydrophilic part was mainly composed of polysaccharide. In the slime, the hydrophobic values of several EPS chemical components (protein, polysaccharide, humic-like substances and DNA) were all below 50%. The protein/polysaccharide ratio had a significant influence on the Zeta potentials and isoelectric point values of the EPS: the greater the protein/polysaccharide ratio of the EPS was, the greater the Zeta potential and the higher the isoelectric point value were. All Zeta potentials of the EPS showed a decreasing trend with increasing pH. The corresponding isoelectric point values (pH) were 2.8 for total EPS, 2.2 for slime, 2.7 for LB-EPS, and 2.6 for TB-EPS. As the ionic strength increased, the Zeta potentials sharply increased and then gradually became constant without charge reversal. In addition, as the temperature increased (< 40℃), the apparent viscosity of the EPS decreased monotonically and then gradually became stable between 40 and 60℃.

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