Slime Holdup, Influent BOD, and Mass Transfer in Trickling Filters

by Bernard Atkinson, Prof. of Chemical Engrg.; Univ. of Manchester Inst. of Sci. and Tech., Manchester, United Kingdom; formerly, Reader in Biochemical Engrg., Dept. of Chemical Engrg., Univ. Coll. of Swansea, Swansea, Wales,
John A. Howell, Assoc. Prof. of Chemical Engrg.; State Univ. of New York, Buffalo, N.Y.; formerly, Sci. Research Council Sr. Visting Fellow, Dept. of Chemical Engrg., Univ. Coll. of Swansea, Swansea, Wales,

Serial Information: Journal of the Environmental Engineering Division, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 4, Pg. 585-605

Document Type: Journal Paper


The performance of a trickling filter is described in terms of the kinetics of microbial growth, the slime holdup, the properties of the packing material, and the mass transfer characteristics of the liquid flow. Diffusional limitations in both the slime and the liquid phases, and the nonlinear dependence of the substrate uptake rate on both substrate concentration and slime thickness, have been taken into account. The appropriate analytical asymptotic expressions have been derived and the conditions under which they can be used have been identified quantitatively. The relationship between the present analysis and a number of empirical and fundamental models of trickling filter performance is explored.

Subject Headings: Influents | Mass transfer | Filters | Substrates | Kinetics | Microbes | Diffusion | Thickness

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