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

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1992-07-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    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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