The possibility of enhancing nitrifying biofilm formation rate with the aid of selected EPS produced by heterotrophic bacteria was investigated. When EPS production characteristics were examined for four kinds of heterotrophs isolated from a domestic wastewater treatment reactor, two strains obtained from biofilms (B1, B2) exhibited a higher polysaccharide production rate than those from suspended flocs (A1, A2). Among EPS components, the concentration of uronic acids gave a good correlation with flocculation ability, which suggests that acidic polysaccharides play a major role in bioaggregate formation. Addition of 1g/L D-glucuronic acid as an EPS substitute enhanced the homocoagulation rate of autotrophic Nitrosomonas europaea and altered its zeta potential from ñ30.4mV to +4.3mV, which indicates a possibility that particular EPS components produced by heterotrophs are utilized as neutralising reagents for nitrifying biofilm formation. Moreover, when heterotrophic isolates with Nitrobacter winogradskyi were cultured in batch with fabric supports, biofilm formed on the substratum. These experimental results suggest the application of selected EPS for enhancing nitrifying biofilm formation.

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