Formation and characteristics of nitrifying biofilm on a membrane modified with positively-charged polymer chains

Kazuaki Hibiya, Satoshi Tsuneda*, Akira Hirata

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Nitrifying bacteria hardly adhered to the surface of supporting materials in a fluidized bed bioreactor containing only inorganic compounds. The adhesivity of nitrifying bacteria was compared, between an unmodified membrane and a membrane modified with diethylamino groups, using the grafting method. The result showed that the diethylamino-group-grafted membrane successfully increased the adhesivity of nitrifying bacteria, which might be due to particular properties of the grafted membrane surface, such as positive charge and soft polymer chains. Moreover, the thickness of the biofilm exceeded 100 μm after incubation for 150 days in a continuously fed fluidized bed bioreactor. The results of fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) confirmed that the biofilm consisted mostly of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria. Moreover, the biofilm exhibited a much higher nitrification rate per unit area than other biofilms, which was confirmed by the analysis of the concentration profile of ammonium-nitrogen inside the biofilm using a microelectrode that we originally fabricated. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-112
Number of pages8
JournalColloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Aug


  • Bacterial adhesivity
  • Grafting method
  • Inorganic wastewater
  • Microelectrode
  • Nitrifying bacteria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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