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Growth limiting conditions and denitrification govern extent and frequency of volume detachment of biofilms

Derlon, Nicolas and Coufort, Carole and Queinnec, Isabelle and Paul, Etienne Growth limiting conditions and denitrification govern extent and frequency of volume detachment of biofilms. (2013) Chemical Engineering Journal, 218. 368-375. ISSN 1385-8947

(Document in English)

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2012.11.061


This study aims at evaluating the mechanisms of biofilm detachment with regard of the physical properties of the biofilm. Biofilms were developed in Couette–Taylor reactor under controlled hydrodynamic conditions and under different environmental growth conditions. Five different conditions were tested and lead to the formation of two aerobic heterotrophic biofilms (aeHB1 and aeHB2), a mixed autotrophic and heterotrophic biofilm (MAHB) and two anoxic heterotrophic biofilms (anHB1 and anHB2). Biofilm detachment was evaluated by monitoring the size of the detached particles (using light-scattering) as well as the biofilm physical properties (using CCD camera and image analysis). Results indicate that volume erosion of large biofilm particles with size ranging from 50 to 500 lm dominated the biomass loss for all biofilms. Surface erosion of small particles with size lower than 20 lm dominates biofilm detachment in number. The extent of the volume detachment events was governed by the size of the biofilm surface heterogeneities (i.e., the absolute biofilm roughness) but never impacted more than 80% of the mean biofilm thickness due to the highly cohesive basal layer. Anoxic biofilms were smoother and thinner than aerobic biofilms and thus associated with the detachment of smaller particles. Our results contradict the simplifying assumption of surface detachment that is considered in many biofilm models and suggest that discrete volume events should be considered.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to Elsevier editor. The original PDF of the article can be found at Chemical Engineering Journal website : http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/13858947
HAL Id:hal-00875873
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - INRA (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Toulouse - INSA (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UT3 (FRANCE)
Laboratory name:
Deposited On:23 Oct 2013 06:31

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