Influence Of Fine-Grained Montmorillonite On Microfungal Pellets Growth In Aqueous Suspensions

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Abstract

The paper presents an inhibition effect of clay mineral – montmorillonite – on the growth of microscopic filamentous fungus Aspergillus niger in the aqueous solution. The significant reduction in growth of the final size of spherical fungal pellets as well as total amount of produced microbial biomass was found out. Within the observed range of additions of clay mineral of 1, 5, 10, 15 and 20 g in the total volume of the 80 ml suspension, this size was in indirect relation to the weight of montmorillonite. However, the most significant inhibition effect was observed at the lowest concentration of the sorbent (1 g). Microscopic analysis of pellets referred to the presence of mineral particles in their pore structure and the distribution of particles in the spatial structure of fungal hyphae was variable. The experiment clearly demonstrated an inhibition effect of montmorillonite. This inhibition could be answered by the experiments focused on the detection of the influence of size and shape of inorganic sorption particles together with the influence of the physicochemical properties of its surface. It could be stated that the simultaneous application of the microscopic fungus Aspergillus niger and the clay mineral montmorillonite for decontamination of waste waters should be disadvantage due to their interaction if compared with the decontamination based on bioaccumulation and sorption separately.

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