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Efficient microalgae inactivation and growth control by locally enhanced electric field treatment (LEEFT)

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Abstract

In recent years, locally enhanced electric field treatment (LEEFT) has been considered as a novel and promising technology for efficient microorganism inactivation. Previous studies were primarily conducted on bacteria and viruses. Here, polydopamine-protected copper-oxide-nanowire-modified copper mesh (PDA-CuONW-Cu) electrodes were fabricated and utilized in a flow-through LEEFT device to treat two microalgae species, Chlorella vulgaris and Microcystis aeruginosa. The results showed that the LEEFT achieved efficient microalgae inactivation and growth control. The inhibition of Fv/Fm was 46.7% and 34.3% for C. vulgaris and M. aeruginosa, respectively, after five LEEFT cycles at a flow rate of 1.2 mL min−1 and a 10 V alternating voltage with a frequency of 104 Hz. Fluorescence staining and flow cytometry measurements verified the inactivation of microalgae cells, with dead cell ratios increasing to 61.3% and 56.5% for C. vulgaris and M. aeruginosa, respectively. Both species could still grow after removing the electric field, indicating that the LEEFT is a physical treatment process without residual anti-microbial effects. Nevertheless, with five LEEFT cycles, the 96 h-growth inhibition reached 60.1% and 66.2% for C. vulgaris and M. aeruginosa, respectively. The LEEFT can still be a promising control method for microalgae blooms when the LEEFT electrodes are durable enough for long-term circular treatment.

Graphical abstract: Efficient microalgae inactivation and growth control by locally enhanced electric field treatment (LEEFT)

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
30 Nov 2019
Accepted
02 May 2020
First published
04 May 2020

Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2020, Advance Article
Article type
Paper

Efficient microalgae inactivation and growth control by locally enhanced electric field treatment (LEEFT)

P. Liu, J. Zhou, T. Wang, C. Yu, Y. Hong and X. Xie, Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9EN01366K

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