Enhancing the auto-flocculation of photosynthetic bacteria to realize biomass recovery in brewery wastewater treatment

Haifeng Lu, Shan Dong, Guangming Zhang, Ting Han, Yuanhui Zhang, Baoming Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Photosynthetic bacteria (PSB) wastewater treatment technology can simultaneously realize wastewater purification and biomass production. The produced biomass contains high value-added products, which can be used in medical and agricultural industry. However, because of the small size and high electronegativity, PSB are hard to be collected from wastewater, which hampers the commercialization of PSB-based industrial processes. Auto-flocculation is a low cost, energy saving, non-toxic biomass collection method for microbiology. In this work, the influence factors with their optimal levels and mechanism for enhancing the auto-flocculation of PSB were investigated in pure cultivation medium. Then PSB auto-flocculation performance in real brewery wastewater was probed. Results showed that Na+ concentration, pH and light intensity were three crucial factors except the initial inoculum sizes and temperature. In the pure medium cultivation system, the optimal condition for PSB auto-flocculation was as follows: pH was 9.5, inoculum size was 420 mg l−1, Na+ concentration was 0.067 mol l−1, light intensity was 5000 lux, temperature was 30°C. Under the optimal condition, the auto-flocculation ratio and biomass recovery reached 85.0% and 1488 mg l−1, which improved by 1.67-fold and 2.14-fold compared with the PSB enrichment cultivation conditions, respectively. Mechanism analysis showed that the protein/polysaccharides ratio and absolute Zeta potential value had a liner relationship. For the brewery wastewater treatment, under the above optimal condition, the chemical oxygen demand removal reached 94.3% with the auto-flocculation ratio and biomass recovery of 89.6% and 1510 mg l−1, which increased 2.75-fold and 2.77-fold, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2147-2156
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Technology (United Kingdom)
Issue number16
StatePublished - Jul 16 2019


  • PSB
  • auto-flocculation
  • biomass recovery
  • extracellular polymeric substances
  • protein/polysaccharides ratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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