Monitoring of Bacterial Morphology for Controlling Filamentous Overgrowth in an Ultracompact Biofilm Reactor

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This research was part of a study of filamentous growth and control in an ultracompact biofilm reactor (UCBR). Morphologies of biofilm and filamentous bacteria in the UCBR were investigated. Ethanol was used as a substrate and sodium hypochlorite was applied as a toxicant to control filamentous growth. The results indicated that factors such as chemical oxygen demand, surface loading rate, pH, and dissolved oxygen could initiate filamentous overgrowth in the UCBR. Different biofilm and filamentous morphologies in the UCBR were observed under different operational conditions. Chlorination was an effective approach to control filamentous growth during and after biofilm formation. Proper chlorine dosing had no effect on biofilm, but killed filaments. Overdose of chlorine damaged biofilm and caused adverse effects such as low treatment efficiency, media clogging and washout, and biofilm color change in the reactor. Frequent monitoring of the morphologies of filaments and biofilm was needed during chlorination to prevent chlorine overdose.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2004

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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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