Effect of Polyelectolytes on Biofilm Growth

by Enrique J. La Motta, (M.ASCE), Chf.; Unidad de Ingenieria Ambiental, Facultad de Ingenieria Civil, Escuela Politecnica National, Apartado 2759, Quito, Ecuador,
Robert F. Hickey, Grad. Student; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst, Mass.,
John F. Buydos, Alumni; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst, Mass.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Environmental Engineering Division, 1982, Vol. 108, Issue 6, Pg. 1326-1341

Document Type: Journal Paper


In certain biofilm processes, such as nitrification and anaerobic carbon removal, biofilm attachment and growth may take several weeks or even months. This research focuses on determining the effect of synthetic and naturally produced polymers, used as surface conditioners, on the rate of biofilm attachment and growth. Partial success was obtained, and the only practical alternative seems to be to precondition the surface of the media by growing an easy-to-develop biological film before the final biofilm is induced to grow. This paper also reviews the literature which describes the factors affecting the attached growth of bacteria.

Subject Headings: Biofilm | Anaerobic processes | Carbon fibers | Polymer | Bacteria

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