Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 87, Issue 2, pp 765–770 | Cite as

Effect of microwave irradiation on cellular disintegration of Gram positive and negative cells

  • Bi Wen Zhou
  • Seung Gu Shin
  • KwangHyun Hwang
  • Johng-Hwa Ahn
  • Seokhwan HwangEmail author
Environmental Biotechnology


This research investigated the effect of microwave irradiation (MWI) on cell disintegration in municipal secondary sludge (MSS). A representative MSS Gram-positive bacterium (Bacillus subtilis) and Gram-negative bacteria (Acinetobacter calcoaceticus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) were pure cultured separately and treated using MWI. Compared to untreated controls, MWI significantly increased the soluble chemical oxygen demand (COD) (1.8–4.0-fold), soluble protein concentration (1.1–1.8-fold), and soluble carbohydrate concentration (3.2–14.1-fold), with greater increase in the Gram-negative bacteria. After MSS was MWI-treated with different irradiation times, from 0 to 9 min, soluble COD increased gradually from 0.14 to 2.38 g/L (i.e., 72-fold). Effective disintegration of Gram-negative cell walls and of MSS by MWI was confirmed by scanning electron microscopy. These findings suggest that MWI could be an effective pretreatment method for MSS that is dominated by Gram-negative microorganisms.


Acinetobacter calcoaceticus Bacillus subtilis Cell disintegration Microwave irradiation Municipal secondary sludge Pseudomonas aeruginosa 



This research was supported by the Korea Ministry of Knowledge and Economy (MKE) as a Manpower Development Program for Energy & Resources and by the Ministry of Environment (MOE) as a Human Resource Development Project for Waste to Energy. This work was also supported by the Korea Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) through the BK-21 program.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bi Wen Zhou
    • 1
  • Seung Gu Shin
    • 1
  • KwangHyun Hwang
    • 1
  • Johng-Hwa Ahn
    • 2
  • Seokhwan Hwang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Environmental Science and EngineeringPohang University of Science and TechnologyPohangSouth Korea
  2. 2.Division of Environmental and Geosystem Engineering, College of EngineeringKangwon National UniversityChuncheonSouth Korea

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