|Title||Boric Acid Cross-linked 3D Polyvinyl Alcohol Gel Beads by NaOH-Titration Method as a Suitable Biomass Immobilization Matrix|
|Author(s)||Sun, Li; Wang, Jinxing; Liang, Jidong; Li, Gaigai|
|Source||Journal of Polymers and the Environment 28 (2020). - ISSN 1566-2543 - p. 532 - 541.|
|Publication type||Refereed Article in a scientific journal|
|Keyword(s)||Boric acid - Cross-linking - Gel beads - Immobilization - Polyvinyl alcohol|
Granule-base immobilization of biomass is a potential method for a decent quality granular sludge cultivation. In this study, 3D polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) gel beads were chemically cross-linked via a simple NaOH-titration method. The PVA gel beads’ porous morphology was characterized using scanning electron microscope (SEM) and Brunauer–Emmette–Teller (BET), and their mechanical properties were evaluated by swelling rate and compressive stress tests. When cross-linking time was 10 min, high quality gel beads (P10) were synthesized, which demonstrated a homogeneous porous structure, good swelling rate, and high compressive strength. A mechanism for synthesis of the gel beads was proposed based on the results of Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and X-ray diffractometer (XRD) analysis. Briefly, the intermolecular hydrogen bonds of PVA were firstly broken by NaOH to generate active bond of O–Na, which easily reacted with B(OH)4 − to produce the PVA-boric acid gel beads. P10 showed excellent biocompatibility for anaerobic ammonia oxidation (anammox) biomass’ immobilization. After incubation for three months, well granule-base immobilized sludge on P10 was developed in up-flow reactor. The sludge had high abundance of anammox biomass and was in balance with other functional bacteria. This work provides a simple method for the rapid preparation of 3D PVA gel beads and verifies their potential in granule-base immobilization of biomass.