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Simstich B.,PTS | Beimfohr C.,Vermicon AG | Horn H.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Bioresource Technology | Year: 2012

This paper describes the results of laboratory experiments using a thermophilic aerobic MBR (TMBR) at 50°C. An innovative use of submerged flat-sheet MBR modules to treat circuit wastewater from the paper industry was studied. Two experiments were conducted with a flux of 8-13L/m2/h without chemical membrane cleaning. COD and BOD5 elimination rates were 83% and 99%, respectively. Calcium was reduced from 110 to 180mg/L in the inflow to 35-60mg/L in the permeate. However, only negligible membrane scaling occurred. The observed sludge yield was very low and amounted to 0.07-0.29gMLSS/g CODeliminated. Consequently, the nutrient supply of ammonia and phosphate can be lower compared to a mesophilic process. Molecular-biological FISH analysis revealed a likewise high diversity of microorganisms in the TMBR compared to the mesophilic sludge used for start-up. Furthermore, ammonia-oxidising bacteria were detected at thermophilic operation. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Woznica A.,University of Silesia | Nowak A.,University of Silesia | Beimfohr C.,Vermicon AG | Karczewski J.,University of Silesia | Bernas T.,University of Silesia
Chemosphere | Year: 2010

Automatic biodetector of water toxicity is a biosensor based on monitoring of catalytic activity of the nitrifying bacteria. To create a standardized biosensing system, development of the biofilm must be characterized to determine the prerequisites for its biological (biocatalytic) stability. In this paper, growth of biofilm comprising ammonium-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB) in the open cellular polyurethane material polyurethane sponge bioreactor has been investigated. Dynamics of the biofilm formation was estimated using AOB and NOB metabolic activity and the volume occupied by these two types of bacteria in the biofilm. Spectrophotometry liquid ion chromatography and image cytometry were used, respectively, for these measurements. A mathematical model of the dynamics of biofilm formation was established. These data indicate that open cellular polyurethane material is a good basis for the immobilization of nitrifying bacteria. Moreover, growth of the biofilm leads to its stable structural form, whose biocatalytic activity (12.29 for AOB and 6.84 μmol min-1 for NOB) is constant in the long term. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Fenu A.,Aquafin NV | Donckels B.M.R.,Aquafin NV | Beffa T.,Madep SA | Bemfohr C.,Vermicon AG | Weemaes M.,Aquafin NV
Water Science and Technology | Year: 2015

Microbacterium sp. strain BR1 is a bacterial strain that recently received attention for its capability to mineralize sulfamethoxazole (SMX) and other sulfonamides. In this study, the survival of Microbacterium sp. in municipal sludge waters was tested in batch experiments to explore optimal process conditions. Inoculation of Microbacterium sp. was subsequently performed in a pilot membrane bioreactor (MBR) operated in two configurations: treating full-scale MBR permeate (posttreatment) and treating raw municipal wastewater. SMX removal by Microbacterium sp. could not be proved in any of the configurations, except for SMX concentrations far higher than the ones normally found in municipal wastewater. By use of molecular tools (fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis) a low capability to survive in activated sludge systems was assessed. After inoculation, Microbacterium sp. was reduced to a small fraction of the viable biomass. The observed growth rate appeared to be many times lower than the one of typical activated sludge micro-organisms. Possibilities of application in full-scale municipal wastewater treatment are scarce. © IWA Publishing 2015 Water Science & Technology.


PubMed | Vermicon AG, Madep SA and Aquafin NV
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Water science and technology : a journal of the International Association on Water Pollution Research | Year: 2015

Microbacterium sp. strain BR1 is a bacterial strain that recently received attention for its capability to mineralize sulfamethoxazole (SMX) and other sulfonamides. In this study, the survival of Microbacterium sp. in municipal sludge waters was tested in batch experiments to explore optimal process conditions. Inoculation of Microbacterium sp. was subsequently performed in a pilot membrane bioreactor (MBR) operated in two configurations: treating full-scale MBR permeate (post-treatment) and treating raw municipal wastewater. SMX removal by Microbacterium sp. could not be proved in any of the configurations, except for SMX concentrations far higher than the ones normally found in municipal wastewater. By use of molecular tools (fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis) a low capability to survive in activated sludge systems was assessed. After inoculation, Microbacterium sp. was reduced to a small fraction of the viable biomass. The observed growth rate appeared to be many times lower than the one of typical activated sludge micro-organisms. Possibilities of application in full-scale municipal wastewater treatment are scarce.


Hugler M.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Bockle K.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Eberhagen I.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Thelen K.,Vermicon AG | And 2 more authors.
Water Science and Technology | Year: 2011

Monitoring of microbiological contaminants in water supplies requires fast and sensitive methods for the specific detection of indicator organisms or pathogens. We developed a protocol for the simultaneous detection of E. coli and coliform bacteria based on the Fluorescence in situ Hybridization (FISH) technology. This protocol consists of two approaches. The first allows the direct detection of single E. coli and coliform bacterial cells on the filter membranes. The second approach includes incubation of the filter membranes on a nutrient agar plate and subsequent detection of the grown micro-colonies. Both approaches were validated using drinking water samples spiked with pure cultures and naturally contaminated water samples. The effects of heat, chlorine and UV disinfection were also investigated. The micro-colony approach yielded very good results for all samples and conditions tested, and thus can be thoroughly recommended for usage as an alternative method to detect E. coli and coliform bacteria in water samples. However, during this study, some limitations became visible for the single cell approach. The method cannot be applied for water samples which have been disinfected by UV irradiation. In addition, our results indicated that green fluorescent dyes are not suitable to be used with chlorine disinfected samples. © IWA Publishing 2011.


Levantesi C.,CNR Water Research Institute | Beimfohr C.,vermicon AG | Blanch A.R.,University of Barcelona | Carducci A.,CNR Water Research Institute | And 4 more authors.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research | Year: 2015

The present research aims at the evaluation of the hygienization performances of innovative sludge treatment processes applied for the separated treatment of secondary sludge. Namely, two digestion pretreatments (sonication and thermal hydrolysis) and two sequential biological processes (mesophilic/thermophilic and anaerobic/aerobic digestion) were compared to the mesophilic (MAD) and thermophilic anaerobic digestion (TAD). Microbial indicators (Escherichia coli, somatic coliphages and Clostridium perfringens spores) and pathogens (Salmonella and enteroviruses), which show different resistances to treatment processes, were monitored in untreated and treated sludge. Overall, microbial load in secondary sludge was shown to be similar or lower than previously reported in literature for mixed sludge. Notably, the anaerobic/aerobic digestion process increased the removal of E. coli and somatic coliphages compared to the simple MAD and always achieved the hygienization requirement (2-log-unit removal of E. coli) proposed by EU Commission in the 3rd Working Document on sludge (April 2000) for the use of treated sludges in agriculture with restriction on their application. The microbial quality limits for the unrestricted use of sludge in agriculture (no Salmonella in 50 g wet weight (WW) and E. coli <500 CFU/g) were always met when thermal digestion or pretreatment was applied; however, the required removal level (6-log-unit removal of E. coli) could not be assessed due to the low level of this microorganism in raw sludge. Observed levels of indicator removal showed a higher resistance of viral particles to thermal treatment compared with bacterial cells and confirmed the suitability of somatic coliphages as indicators in thermal treatment processes. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


PubMed | SymbioPharm GmbH, Vermicon AG, Molecular Microbiology and Genomics Consultants and Medical Services
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Beneficial microbes | Year: 2014

The ability of probiotic Escherichia coli to colonise the human gut was determined in a volunteer study following national (German) regulations. Five persons voluntarily took a single, high dose of Symbioflor2, which contains 6 different probiotic E. coli genotypes, to assess tolerance of the product, after which presence of E. coli in their faeces was tested for a follow-up period of 30 weeks. Intake of the product did not result in severe side effect in any of the individuals, though mild side effects were observed. Stool analysis showed that the probiotic E. coli had colonised all five persons for a period of 10 to 30 weeks (mean: 18.7 weeks, median: 25.7 weeks). In two individuals there was evidence of competition between host E. coli and probiotic E. coli, while in two others total E. coli levels increased persistently with at least a factor of 10 as a result of the received dose. In one individual, who had lacked detectable levels of faecal E. coli at the start of the post-authorisation safety study, long-term colonisation was established, first by probiotic E. coli exclusively, which were later replaced by host E. coli strains. In four out of five individuals, total E. coli faecal counts were higher on average than at the start of the experiment, while in none total levels exceeded 5107 cfu/g. When the specific genotypes of the 6 probiotic E. coli were analysed, it was found that one and the same common genotype was responsible for prolonged colonisation in all five individuals.


PubMed | Vermicon AG
Type: | Journal: International journal of bacteriology | Year: 2016

This review article summarizes the scientific literature that is currently available about a probiotic


Wassenaar T.M.,Molecular Microbiology and Genomics Consultants | Beimfohr C.,Vermicon AG | Geske T.,Medical Services | Zimmermann K.,SymbioPharm GmbH
Beneficial Microbes | Year: 2014

The ability of probiotic Escherichia coli to colonise the human gut was determined in a volunteer study following national (German) regulations. Five persons voluntarily took a single, high dose of Symbioflor®2, which contains 6 different probiotic E. coli genotypes, to assess tolerance of the product, after which presence of E. coli in their faeces was tested for a follow-up period of 30 weeks. Intake of the product did not result in severe side effect in any of the individuals, though mild side effects were observed. Stool analysis showed that the probiotic E. coli had colonised all five persons for a period of 10 to 30 weeks (mean: 18.7 weeks, median: 25.7 weeks). In two individuals there was evidence of competition between host E. coli and probiotic E. coli, while in two others total E. coli levels increased persistently with at least a factor of 10 as a result of the received dose. In one individual, who had lacked detectable levels of faecal E. coli at the start of the post-authorisation safety study, long-term colonisation was established, first by probiotic E. coli exclusively, which were later replaced by host E. coli strains. In four out of five individuals, total E. coli faecal counts were higher on average than at the start of the experiment, while in none total levels exceeded 5×107 cfu/g. When the specific genotypes of the 6 probiotic E. coli were analysed, it was found that one and the same common genotype was responsible for prolonged colonisation in all five individuals. © 2014 Wageningen Academic Publishers.

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