Improvement of PVA gel properties for cell immobilization

Riham Surkatti, Muftah H. El-Naas, Mark C.M. Van Loosdrecht, Fatima Al-Naemi, Udeogu Onwusogh

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleScientificpeer-review


This study investigates the characterization and the ability of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) gel to be used in the area of wastewater treatment as biomass immobilization matrix. The PVA matrix was prepared through the freezing-thawing cross-linking process under several preparation conditions including freezing-thawing temperature and number of cycles. PVA morphology and pore structure were tested using SEM analysis. In addition, mechanical characterization of the PVA gel was carried out using compression tests. The optimum conditions for the preparation of PVA gel with high pore structure and mechanical strength were determined to be freezing at-20C and thawing at +20C, and this can be achieved at 4 or 8 iterative freezing-thawing cycles. The prepared PVA gel under these conditions can be utilized for biomass immobilization in the area of biological wastewater treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the World Congress on Mechanical, Chemical, and Material Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event5th World Congress on Mechanical, Chemical, and Material Engineering, MCM 2019 - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 15 Aug 201917 Aug 2019


  • Immobilization
  • Mechanical strength
  • Morphology
  • Poly vinyl alcohol (PVA) gel


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