Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Interfacial adsorption of microorganisms and its effect on oxygen absorption by fermentation broths


Steady-state mass transfer experiments were done to determine whether certain strains of bacteria in homogeneous suspension will accumulate at the gas:liquid interface and thereby significantly increase the oxygen transfer rate to the suspension. In particular, with suspensions ofB. licheniformis, the measured transfer rates are as much as three times the rate expected for a uniform suspension. In contrast, suspensions ofM. luteus show no increase in oxygen flux above expected values. The fact thatB. licheniformis is motile, whereasM. luteus is not suggests that cell motility may play an important role in the accumulation process.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.

    Donaldson, T. L. and Palmer, H. J. (1978),AIChE Symp. Ser. 75, 206.

  2. 2.

    Andrews, G. F., Fonta, J. P., Marrotta, E., and Stroeve, P. (1984),Chem. Eng. J. 29, B39.

  3. 3.

    Andrews, G. F., Fonta, J. P., Marotta, E., and Stroeve, P. (1984),Chem. Eng. J. 29, B47.

  4. 4.

    Lozowski, D., Langa, J., Andrews, G., and Stroeve, P. (1980),Chem. Eng. Comm. 6, 349.

  5. 5.

    Bungay, H. R. and Masak, R. D. (1981),Biotech. Bioeng. 23, 1155.

  6. 6.

    Bartholomew, W. H., Karow, E. O., Sfat, M. R., and Wilhelm, R. H. (1950),Ind. Eng. Chem. 42, 1801.

  7. 7.

    Bennett, G. F. and Kempe, L. L. (1964),Biotech. Bioeng. 6, 347.

  8. 8.

    Tsao, G. T. (1968),Biotech. Bioeng. 10, 765.

  9. 9.

    Sobotka, M., Votruba, J., and Prokop, A. (1981),Biotech. Bioeng. 23, 1193.

  10. 10.

    Tsao, G. T. (1972),Chem. Eng. Sci. 27, 1593.

  11. 11.

    Tsao, G. T. (1977),Biotech. Bioeng. 19, 557.

  12. 12.

    Tsao, G. T. (1978),Biotech. Bioeng. 20, 157.

  13. 13.

    Yoshida, F. and Yagi, H. (1975),Biotech. Bioeng. 17, 1083.

  14. 14.

    Yoshida, F. and Yagi, H. (1977),Biotech. Bioeng. 19, 561.

  15. 15.

    Linek, V. and Benes, P. (1977),Biotech. Bioeng. 19, 565.

  16. 16.

    Merchuk, J. C. (1977),Biotech. Bioeng. 19, 1885.

  17. 17.

    Marshall, K. C. (1976),Interfaces in Microbial Ecology, Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge.

  18. 18.

    Blanchard, D. C. and Syzdek, L. D. (1982),Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 43, 1001.

  19. 19.

    Norkrans, B. and Sorensson, F. (1977),Botanica Marina 20, 473.

  20. 20.

    Kjelleberg, S. (1985),Bacterial Adhesion, Savage, D. W. and Fletcher, M., eds., Plenum, NY, 163.

  21. 21.

    Mudd, S. and Mudd, E. B. (1924),J. Exp. Med. 40, 633.

  22. 22.

    Marshall, K. C. and Cruikshank, R. H. (1973),Arch. Mikrobiol. 91, 29.

  23. 23.

    King, L. R. and Palmer, H. J. (1989),Biotech. Bioengr., in press.

  24. 24.

    King, L. R. (1986), PhD dissertation, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY.

  25. 25.

    King, L. R. (1985), MS thesis, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY.

  26. 26.

    Ferrell, R. T. and Himmelblau, D. M. (1967),J. Chem. Eng. Data 12, 111.

  27. 27.

    Danckwerts, P. V. (1970),Gas-Liquid Reactions, McGraw-Hill, New York.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Luis Roberto King or Harvey J. Palmer.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

King, L.R., Palmer, H.J. Interfacial adsorption of microorganisms and its effect on oxygen absorption by fermentation broths. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 20, 403–419 (1989).

Download citation

Index Entries

  • Fermentation
  • oxygen transport
  • microbial accumulation at interfaces
  • Bacillus licheniformis