Diffusion and Reaction in Biological Nitrification

by Enrique J. LaMotta, (M.ASCE), Asst. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst, Mass.,
Wen K. Shieh, Process Engr.; Dorr-Oliver, Inc., Stamford, Conn.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Environmental Engineering Division, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 4, Pg. 655-673

Document Type: Journal Paper


The effect of internal diffusional resistances on the rate of nitrification is analyzed theoretically and experimentally. A model for internal diffusion and simultaneous reaction is described, and a numerical solution is presented as an effectiveness factor chart. The intrinsic kinetics of nitrification was found to be described by the Michaelis-Menten expression. Different values of k and Ks can be observed in the same system if floc size is varied; the intrinsic values can only be observed if diffusional resistances are minimized. The effective diffusivity of nitrate through microbial floc was found to be statistically dependent on particle size.

Subject Headings: Diffusion (chemical) | Biological processes | Load and resistance factor design | Numerical models | Numerical methods | Kinetics | Professional societies | Nitrates

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