Identification of Microflora on Wicks and Biofilm Associated with Wastewater 2009-01-2398
Brine dewatering by evaporation on porous media, and collection of wastewater evaporation condensates rich in organic carbon, both provide favorable environments for microbial growth, such as mold overgrowth of rayon wicks in the AES brine evaporation system, and bacterial biofilms on condensate-wetted surfaces. The mold growth reported on AES wicks by Campbell et al. (2003) has been identified by microscopic and molecular techniques as chiefly Chaetomium spp, most likely C. globosum, with minor occurrence of Penicillium, and other fungal species. Bacteria from the genus Bacillus was also isolated.
A stable bacterial consortium dominated by three species was recovered from initially-sterile glass surfaces wetted with sterile Biological Water Processor Effluent Ersatz (Verostko et al., 2004) and exposed to humidified air over a period of one week. The species were identified as Enterobacter aerogenes, Microbacterium foliorum and Pseudomonas putida by 16S rDNA sequencing. The consortium was cultured on glass microscope slides in order to provide consistent biofilms for testing of biofilm control measures. Moist-heat pasteurization at 60°C proved significantly more effective in controlling this biofilm than dry heating at 60°C, or exposure to pulsed short-wave UV light.