Studies in the adsorption of bacteria
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The adsorption ofB. subtilis andB. coli by two well-known adsorbents—kaolin and charcoal—has been quantitatively investigated at various concentrations of the bacterial suspensions. On plotting the data the total number of organisms adsorbed by unit mass of the adsorbent against the equilibrium concentration (number of organisms per c.mm. after adsorption)—typical S-shaped curves were obtained. This shape is a characteristic feature of the adsorption encountered here. It has been shown that the data obtained fits in the adsorption equation derived by Krishnamurti (a = K/1 + αe −βc) far better than the adsorption isotherms of Freundlich and Langmuir.
The view that the interaction between bacteria and the charcoal and kaolin particles is an adsorption process is supported by several independent observations,
A marked increase of the maximum adsorption of bacteria has been observed with the lowering of temperature and a straight line is obtained by plotting the maximum amount of adsorption of bacteria against 1/T.
The specific and selective nature of the adsorption of bacteria by charcoal and kaolin has been successfully applied for evolving a new technique for the separation of bacteria from mixtures (e.g., B. subtilis from Staphylococci). It is hoped that this method when standardized will be a useful addition to bacteriological technique.
KeywordsCharcoal Kaolin Bacterial Suspension Soman Ferric Hydroxide
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