Analysis of Biomass Distribution and Chemical Interactions in Nitrifying Biofilms

by Edna M. C. V. Flora, Univ of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, United States,
Joseph R. V. Flora, (A.M.ASCE), Univ of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, United States,
Makram T. Suidan, (M.ASCE), Univ of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, United States,
Byung J. Kim, (M.ASCE), Univ of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Critical Issues in Water and Wastewater Treatment

Abstract: Steady-state models of nitrifying biofilms are developed taking into account the mass transfer of neutral and ionic species, electroneutrality, pH-dependent Monod kinetics, chemical equilibrium, and the presence of a boundary layer. Coupling the base biofilm model with reactor mass balances show significant changes in reactor performance as a function of influent pH and buffer capacity. Within the biofilm model framework, the steady-state biomass distribution in a nitrifying biofilm is sensitive to μ1, the maximum velocity coefficient of the first step of nitrification. When coupled to a reactor model, the steady-state biomass distribution remains identical over a large range of μ1.

Subject Headings: Biofilm | Velocity distribution | Steady states | pH | Kinetics | Waste treatment | Biomass

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