Application of enzymes, sodium tripolyphosphate and cation exchange resin for the release of extracellular polymeric substances from sewage sludge - Characterization of the extracted polysaccharides/glycoconjugates by a panel of lectins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The study describes extraction of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) from sewage sludge by applying enzymes and enzymes combined with sodium tripolyphosphate (STPP). Additionally, a systematic study of two non-enzymatic extraction agents is described. The assessment of the released products is made by colorimetrical methods and polysaccharides/glycoconjugates identification by the interaction with four immobilized lectins. Bio-sludge from Helsingborg (Sweden) and Damhusaen (Denmark) were used as two case studies for testing enzymatic extractability and thereby to make useful prediction of sludge bio-digestibility. From Helsingborg sludge the enzymes extracted about 40% more of EPS than from Damhusaen. The polysaccharides/glycoconjugates in both sludges maintained the same level, and showed substantial different interaction motifs with lectins panel. Damhusaen enzymatic extracted EPS had an enhanced amount of suspended material that was post-hydrolysed by the use of polygalacturonase and lysozyme resulting in pectin like polymers and petiptidoglycans. Petiptidoglycan is a marker from bacterial cell debris. STPP and cation exchange resin (CER) released different quantities of EPS. The CER released polysaccharides/glycoconjugates had higher molecular weight and stronger affinity towards Concanavalin A than the one released by the action of STPP. Independent of the extraction conditions, STPP released elevated amounts of polyvalent cations and humic substances in contrast to the very low amounts of released by CER.


  • Joanna Wawrzynczyk
  • Emil Szewczyk
  • Olof Norrlöw
  • Estera Dey
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


  • cation exchange resin, bio-sludge, enzymes, extracellular polymeric, substances, lectin, sodium tripolyphosphate
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-281
JournalJournal of Biotechnology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Publication categoryResearch