Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering Research Collection

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  • Publication
    Nanoparticle–Biofilm Interactions: The Role of the EPS Matrix
    The negative consequences of biofilms are widely reported. A defining feature of biofilms is the extracellular matrix, a complex mixture of biomacromolecules, termed EPS, which contributes to reduced antimicrobial susceptibility. EPS targeting is a promising, but underexploited, approach to biofilm control allowing disruption of the matrix and thereby increasing the susceptibility to antimicrobials. Nanoparticles (NPs) can play a very important role as ’carriers’ of EPS matrix disruptors, and several approaches have recently been proposed. In this review, we discuss the application of nanoparticles as antibiofilm technologies with a special emphasis on the role of the EPS matrix in the physicochemical regulation of the nanoparticle–biofilm interaction. We highlight the use of nanoparticles as a platform for a new generation of antibiofilm approaches.
      112Scopus© Citations 319
  • Publication
    Interaction between Engineered Pluronic Silica Nanoparticles and Bacterial Biofilms: Elucidating the Role of Nanoparticle Surface Chemistry and EPS Matrix
    Nanoparticles (NPs) are considered a promising tool in the context of biofilm control. Many studies have shown that different types of NPs can interfere with the bacterial metabolism and cellular membranes, thus making them potential antibacterial agents; however, fundamental understanding is still lacking on the exact mechanisms involved in these actions. The development of NP-based approaches for effective biofilm control also requires a thorough understanding of how the chosen nanoparticles will interact with the biofilm itself, and in particular with the biofilm self-produced extracellular polymeric matrix (EPS). This work aims to provide advances in the understanding of the interaction between engineered fluorescent pluronic silica (PluS) nanoparticles and bacterial biofilms, with a main focus on the role of the EPS matrix in the accumulation and diffusion of the particles in the biofilm. It is demonstrated that particle surface chemistry has a key role in the different lateral distribution and specific affinity to the biofilm matrix components. The results presented in this study contribute to our understanding of biofilm-NP interactions and promote the principle of the rational design of smart nanoparticles as an important tool for antibiofilm technology.
      118Scopus© Citations 7
  • Publication
    The Triple Bottom Line for Efficiency: Integrating Systems Within Water and Energy Networks
    Energy and water have been integrated throughout most of modern history, and that linkage will continue into the future, not only in the physical infrastructure but also through digital infrastructure (e.g., the Internet of Things). The term energy-water nexus is quickly expanding to refer to more than simply water used for energy production and energy used for water treatment and transport. Just as the energy grid is changing-becoming more flexible and resilient and providing energy-efficiency gains-the water network is also changing. The integration of these two systems can provide optimization and opportunities that would not otherwise be possible. This integration of "electrons and molecules" is being enabled by advances in Internet connectivity and wireless communications, so that energy in all its forms can be employed most effectively by end users to optimize efficiency, reliability, security, economics, and environmental performance.
      31Scopus© Citations 11
  • Publication
    Predicting wastewater treatment plant performance during aeration demand shifting with a dual-layer reaction settling model
    Demand response (DR) programmes encourage energy end users to adjust their consumption according to energy availability and price. Municipal wastewater treatment plants are suitable candidates for the application of such programmes. Demand shedding through aeration control, subject to maintaining the plant operational limits, could have a large impact on the plant DR potential. Decreasing the aeration intensity may promote the settling of the particulate components present in the reactor mixed liquor. The scope of this study is thus to develop a mathematical model to describe this phenomenon. For this purpose, Benchmark Simulation Model No.1 was extended by implementing a dual-layer settling model in one of the aerated tanks and combining it with biochemical reaction kinetic equations. The performance of this extended model was assessed in both steady-state and dynamic conditions, switching the aeration system off for 1 hour during each day of simulation. This model will have applications in the identification of potential benefits and issues related to DR events, as well as in the simulation of the plant operation where aerated tank settling is implemented.
      51Scopus© Citations 10
  • Publication
    Simultaneous removal of malachite green and hexavalent chromium by Cunninghamella elegans biofilm in a semi-continuous system
    The present study was conducted to evaluate the potential of the fungus Cunninghamella elegans for simultaneous decolourisation of a triphenylmethane dye malachite green (MG) and hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] in the same media. This fungus can degrade MG through its reduction into leucomalachite green and then demethylation followed by oxidative cleavage. Along with MG degradation, C. elegans biofilm could effectively and repeatedly remove Cr(VI) from the liquid cultures even in the presence of high concentrations (40 g L−1) of NaCl and various other metal ions. C. elegans biofilm was also found to adsorb different dyes (reactive black-5, acid orange 7, direct red 81 and brilliant blue G) concurrently with Cr(VI). Based on its potential for simultaneous removal of dyes and Cr(VI) as well as reusability, C. elegans biofilm is envisaged as an efficient bioresource to devise strategies for treatment of wastewaters loaded with multiple pollutants.
      51Scopus© Citations 37