Sludge bacterial extracellular (BEP) polymers exhibit a strong affinity with metals in addition to their role in the bioflocculation of activated sludge. It is of utmost importance in elucidating the chemical characterization of sludge BEP prior to a better understanding of its environmental behavior. Sludge BEP extracted from activated sludge was characterized by FT-IR, 1H-NMR, and 13C-NMR and fractionated into 6 fractions (hydrophilic acid, base, and neutral; and hydrophobic acid, base, and neutral). The results indicated that sludge BEP contained more polysaccharides but fewer amino acids or proteinaceous materials compared to dissolved organic matter (DOM) derived from sludge. No aromatic substance was found in sludge BEP as indicated by NMR. Sludge BEP was dominated by hydrophilic fractions, accounting for 65% of total DOC of sludge BEP and hydrophilic neutral constituted about 58% of the hydrophilic fraction. The chemical fraction and characterization indicated that sludge BEP might exhibit a higher capability in enhancing the transport of the associated contaminants through porous media than that of sludge DOM.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Environmental Engineering
- Water Science and Technology
- Bacterial extracellular polymers
- Sewage sludge