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Enzymes vs microbes

Commercial enzymes contain a very low concentration of substrate-active enzymes when compared to those enzymes produced naturally by our microbial products in a biologically balanced treatment plant.

Commercial enzymes oxidize a chemical reaction once and then wash out. They disturb the microbial balance of a system and have to be added continually in large quantities for lasting effect.

Generally, enzymes (which are proteins with a 'half life') share the following characteristics:

  1. Unlike bacteria they are not self regenerating;
  2. They have an optimum pH range of 4.5–6.0. Most effluent streams operate within a range 5.5-10;
  3. Enzymes generally have a thermal range of 20°C–40°C. The temperatures in many biological systems seldom reach 20°C;
  4. Unfortunately for the effluent engineer, enzymes solubize COD (organic wastes) thus they enter wastewater as an emulsion and are flushed down-line. When their chemical activity ceases, they allow the organic contaminant to 'drop out' of solution and cause blockages; and
  5. Enzymes often leave behind contaminating residues. Conversely, bacteria degrade COD, breaking down the organic wastes into their constituent natural compounds (such as water and natural gasses).


As a result, commercial enzymes generally do not work optimally.

The reason bugs are better

Artificially introduced enzymes convert insoluble waste into soluble waste, increasing the organic content of the water. So, even though the substrate may be broken down into more assimilable by-products, a sufficiently large population of enzymes has to be present to oxidize the increased organic load to meet the required effluent quality discharge standards.

Bacteria, on the other hand, adapt over time to perform optimally in most conditions (both thermal and pH). They continuously produce and secrete the specific enzymes necessary for the degradation of their substrate food (the target pollutant) – bacteria that comprise BIO-SYSTEMS products, for example, are selected for their ability to degrade specific organic contaminants. As the bacterial biomass thrives in the effluent (food) and multiplies, the production of the microbe's innate enzymes (essential for the degradation of their food) increase in proportion. This is why natural microbial products are so effective.

The range of our BIO-SYSTEMS products is the result of many years of practical development. Each one of our microbial blends contains a wide variety of especially selected and adapted microbes, broad spectrum enzyme systems, as well as growth stimulants and surface tension depressants and penetrants. We have experienced microbiologists peering down microscopes constantly researching microbial populations to improve the existing 'teams' that constitute our already highly effective blends. These microbes together with the enzymes that they produce naturally on demand, attack specific substrates such as sewage, abattoir waste, food processing residues and misplaced petroleum deposits. All end products of the inherent enzyme activity are completely degraded to harmless hydrocarbon constituents such as water, carbon dioxide, methane and base radicals or trace elements, which can then be safely taken up for re-use in the natural environment.

For more information about how BIO-SYSTEMS bugs can assist you, click on our Municipal, Domestic, Industrial and Agricultural links or visit our Case histories.

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Bob Hadley

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