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Explaining widely varying biofilm-process performance with normalized loading curves

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The goal of the research was to evaluate whether the method of normalized loading curves could explain the performance differences among three steady-state biofilm processes that had nearly identical loadings and process configurations. Three methanogenic fluidized-bed biofilm reactors were challenged with a range of surface loadings of three distinctly different organic substrates: acetate, phenol, and glucose. Normalized loading curves were generated from the four fundamental parameters (S min, S*min, K*, JR ) and compared to the experimental performance. The curves and the fundamental parameters explained why effluent concentrations of acetate and phenol were sensitive to loading, while the glucose concentration was insensitive; why effluent concentrations were much lower for phenol than for glucose at similar surface loads; and why acetate required a much higher surface loading to give similar performance trends.

Keywords: biofilm; design; loading; modeling; steady state

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1992-07-01

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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