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Science of The Total Environment
Volume 872, 2023, 162213

Celebrating 50 years of microbial granulation technologies: From canonical wastewater management to bio-product recovery

Shradhanjali Sethia,b, Rohan Guptab, Ankita Bharshankha,b

Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR), CSIR-Human Resource Development Centre (CSIR-HRDC), Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh 201002, India.

Abstract

Microbial granulation technologies (MGT) in wastewater management are widely practised for more than fifty years. MGT can be considered a fine example of human innovativeness-driven nature wherein the manmade forces applied during operational controls in the biological process of wastewater treatment drive the microbial communities to modify their biofilms into granules. Mankind, over the past half a century, has been refining the knowledge of triggering biofilm into granules with some definite success. This review captures the journey of MGT from inception to maturation providing meaningful insights into the process development of MGT-based wastewater management. The full-scale application of MGT-based wastewater management is discussed with an understanding of functional microbial interactions within the granule. The molecular mechanism of granulation through the secretion of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) and signal molecules is also highlighted in detail. The recent research interest in the recovery of useful bioproducts from the granular EPS is also emphasized.

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