Ceramic carriers for immobilization of microorganisms are widely used in wastewater treatment, air biofiltration technologies, etc. The aim of this study was to compare seven different types of ceramic beads fabricated from two types of Devonian clay, in terms of their appropriateness for bacteria cell attachment and further use for soil/air cleaning technologies. The effect of different ceramic beads on the microbial growth and biofilm formation was studied for pure culture Pseudomonas putida MSCL 650 and for bacteria consortium MDK.EKO-7. The highest CFU number recovered from the bead surfaces after 72h cultivation, was in the sets No. 4, 6, and 7, corresponding to one Liepa red and two Planci clay samples, respectively. Besides, a fluoresceine diacetate (FDA) hydrolysis activity of the attached bacteria served as a criterion of biofilm formation. Statistically significant differences of FDA hydrolysis were shown for both, ceramic beads with biomass and without it. Among ceramic beads without biomass, half-spheres of Liepa red clay beads and Planci clay beads significantly differed from other tested samples. These data could point to the notable differences between physical-chemical properties of these beads, which stimulated abiotic FDA hydrolysis. Among ceramic beads with biomass, FDA hydrolysis activity on the half-sphere beads was significantly (p<0.05) higher than that on the surface of the whole sphere beads fabricated from Liepa red clay. SEM micrographs of the bead surface showed uneven distribution of bacteria on the surface. The craters (pores) of ceramic bead seem to be the most appropriate sites for bacteria attachment. Experiments on dehydration of the attached P. putida at 22 °C showed a decrease of cell viability down to zero in 16 days. It was concluded that Liepa red clay and Planci clay are appropriate for carrier fabrication. The quality of ceramic carrier is dependent on the technological process of ceramic production, bead composition and conditions for biofilm formation
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