Volume 11: Proceedings of 12th International Conference on Applied Energy, Part 3, Thailand/Virtual, 2020

What kind of surface is required for algal adhesion: impact of surface properties on microalgal cell–solid substrate interactions Weida Zeng , Keming Chen, Yun Huang, Ao Xia, Xun Zhu, Qiang Liao, Xianqing Zhu


Microalgae cell adhesion plays an essential role in biofilm wastewater treatment, photobioreactor material selection, and surface biofouling control. The interaction energy between microalgae cells and solid substrate behind the cell adhesion phenomenon is the key to boost these issues. Surface properties, including surface potential and surface free energy components, have a significant influence on the adsorption capacity of algal cells on the substrate. According to the extended Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek (eDLVO) theory, the impact degree and trend of surface properties of cells and solid substrate on the total interaction energy were discussed via sensitivity analysis. The results revealed that when algae cells and solid substrate own same property charges, increasing the surface potential of solid substrate (ξs) or reducing the surface free energy electron donor components of solid substrate (γs-) is the most effective measure to promote cell adhesion. When algae cells and solid substrate own dissimilar property charges, reducing the surface potential of the algae cells (ξm) or enhancing the γs- is an effective way to prevent excessive algae cell adhesion. Overall, the research provides direction for the selection of surface-modified, solid substrate, and algal cells to control cell adhesion under different demands

Keywords microalgae cells, adhesion, surface properties, sensitivity analysis, eDLVO

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