Fibrous materials made of carbon fiber (CF), aromatic polyamide (AP), preoxidized polyacrylonitrile (PAN), and polyethylene (PE), which are widely used in the textile industry, were evaluated as biofilm supports for wastewater treatment. We found that CF has a high capacity for adsorbing nitrifying bacterial sludge. The adhesion rate of four pure strains-Cytophaga hutchinsonii, Alcaligenes faecalis, Bacillus subtilis, and Escherichia coli-was highest to CF. The ζ-potentials of the fibrous supports, and the cell surface potentials of these bacteria on the basis of the soft particle theory, were experimentally determined. Bacterial cell adhesion to the fibrous supports could be explained by Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek theory. Interaction energy profiles based on this theory indicated the disappearance of the energy barrier in bacterial cell adhesion to the CF support, whereas an insurmountable energy barrier was observed in the adhesion to the other fibrous supports. This result was attributed to the less negative ζ-potential of CF and the relatively large Hamaker constant for the CF/bacterium interaction in water; through simulations, the latter factor was found to make a greater contribution to lowering the energy barrier. In practice and theory, CF is an excellent material as a microbial and biofilm support for wastewater treatment.