Biofouling control potential of quorum quenching anaerobes in lab-scale anaerobic membrane bioreactors: Foulants profile and microbial dynamics

Hira Waheed, Ch Tahir Mehmood, Yiwei Li, Ying Du, Yeyuan Xiao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Indigenously isolated anaerobes encoding four quorum quenching (QQ) enzymes were applied in immobilized- and bioaugmented forms for their implications on membrane foulants, microbial taxa, and biofouling control. Two identical anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBRs) with different immobilizing media, i.e. silica-alginate (AnMBR-Si) and hollow fiber-alginate (AnMBR-Hf), were sequentially operated for two conventional and three QQ based phases. The synergistic addition of QQ anaerobes in free cells and the immobilized form prolonged the membrane filtration operation by 172 ± 29% and 284 ± 12% in AnMBR-Si and AnMBR-Hf, respectively. Biocake with low surface coverage was prominent during QQ application compared to conventional phases. Despite the better control of AHLs (3OC6-, C6-, 3OC8, C8, and C10-HSL) and AI-2 at various points of QQ phases, the QQ consortium could not maintain a low concentration of signals for longer period. Therefrom, quenching of targeted signal molecules instigate the dominance of microbial species bearing non-targeted quorum sensing mechanism. The QQ significantly altered the biofilm-forming community in mixed liquor, while the members with robust signal transduction systems became dominant to counteract the QQ mechanism and were the ultimate cause of biofouling. The improved methane content in biogas and increased methanogens composition during QQ phases demonstrated the synergism of exogenous and immobilized QQ as the most viable option for long-term AnMBR operation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalChemosphere
DOIs
StateE-pub ahead of print - 4 Jan 2023

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