Development of pseudo-amphoteric sponge media using polyalkylene oxide-modified polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) for rapid start-up of wastewater treatment plant

Kyu Jung Chae, Sung Min Kim, Hee-Deung Park, Sung Hyung Yim, In S. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)


Hydrophobic sponge media require a relatively long start-up period, as they just float on the surface of aeration tanks due to their little tendency to adsorb water, which causes a delay in the initiation of bacterial attachment. In order to overcome this difficulty, a new pseudo-amphoteric BioCube media (a standard BioCube is hydrophobic) using polyalkylene oxide-modified polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) as a surfactant was developed. Of the many evaluated hydrophilizing agents, polyalkylene oxide-modified PDMS was found suitable. Among the diverse types of modified PDMS, the non-reactive polyethylene oxide-modified PDMS was found to be optimum agent. Pseudo-amphoteric BioCube media are readily immersible, but after complete immersion, they gradually become hydrophobic, as the polyethylene oxide-modified PDMS is designed to alienate from polyurethane backbone of BioCube to provide hydrophobic surfaces exhibiting more affinity for bacterial attachment. Clearly, the pseudo-amphoteric BioCube showed faster bacterial attachment during the early stage due to chances of enhanced contact between the bacteria and media surfaces, but the extent of attachment between the hydrophobic and pseudo-amphoteric BioCube was similar at the steady state because the former (pseudo-amphoteric BioCube) had already changed to hydrophobic. Fluorescent in situ hybridization result showed 14% occupation by ammonia oxidizing bacteria, 13% by nitrite oxidizing bacteria and 73% by others in pseudo-amphoteric BioCube, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)961-968
Number of pages8
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Mar 1
Externally publishedYes



  • Bacterial attachment
  • FISH
  • Hydrophobic
  • PDMS
  • Pseudo-amphoteric
  • Sponge media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)

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