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Membrane Water Treatment   Volume 9, Number 3, May 2018, pages 195-203
DOI: https://doi.org/10.12989/mwt.2018.9.3.195
 
Effects of N-acetylcysteine on biofilm formation by MBR sludge
WonJung Song, Harshad Lade, YoungJae Yu and JiHyang Kweon

 
Abstract     [Buy Article]
    N-acetylcysteine (NAC) has been widely used as an initial mucolytic agent and is generally used as an antioxidant to help alleviate various inflammatory symptoms. NAC reduces bacterial extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) production, bacterial adhesion to the surface and strength of mature biofilm. The efficacy has been shown to inhibit proliferation of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. In membrane bioreactor (MBR) processes, which contain a variety of gram negative bacteria, biofilm formation has become a serious problem in stable operation. In this study, use of NAC as an inhibitor of biofilm contamination was investigated using the center for disease control (CDC) reactors with MBR sludge. Biomass reduction was confirmed with CLSM images of membrane surfaces by addition of NAC, which was more efficient as the concentration of NAC was increased to 1.5 mg/mL. NAC addition also showed decreases in EPS concentrations of the preformed biofilm, indicating that NAC was able to degrade EPS in the mature biofilm. NAC addition was also effective to inhibit biofilm formation by MBR sludge, which consisted of various microorganisms in consortia.
 
Key Words
    Extracellular polymeric substance; N-acetyl cysteine; MBR sludge; CDC reactor; biofilm formation
 
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Department of Environmental Engineering, Konkuk University, 120 Neungdong-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 05029, Republic of Korea
 

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