Redox-stratification controlled biofilm (ReSCoBi) for completely autotrophic nitrogen removal

The effect of co- versus counter-diffusion on reactor performance

Akihiko Terada, Susanne Lackner, Satoshi Tsuneda, Barth F. Smets

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    66 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    A multi-population biofilm model for completely autotrophic nitrogen removal was developed and implemented in the simulation program AQUASIM to corroborate the concept of a redox-stratification controlled biofilm (ReSCoBi). The model considers both counter- and co-diffusion biofilm geometries. In the counter-diffusion biofilm, oxygen is supplied through a gas-permeable membrane that supports the biofilm while ammonia (NH4 +) is supplied from the bulk liquid. On the contrary, in the co-diffusion biofilm, both oxygen and NH4 + are supplied from the bulk liquid. Results of the model revealed a clear stratification of microbial activities in both of the biofilms, the resulting chemical profiles, and the obvious effect of the relative surface loadings of oxygen and NH4 + (J O2/JNH4+) on the reactor performances. Steady-state biofilm thickness had a significant but different effect on T-N removal for co- and counter-diffusion biofilms: the removal efficiency in the counter-diffusion biofilm geometry was superior to that in the co-diffusion counterpart, within the range of 450-1,400 μm; however, the efficiency deteriorated with a further increase in biofilm thickness, probably because of diffusion limitation of NH4 +. Under conditions of oxygen excess (J O2/JNH4+ > 3.98), almost all NH4 + was consumed by aerobic ammonia oxidation in the co-diffusion biofilm, leading to poor performance, while in the counter-diffusion biofilm, T-N removal efficiency was maintained because of the physical location of anaerobic ammonium oxidizers near the bulk liquid. These results clearly reveal that counter-diffusion biofilms have a wider application range for autotrophic T-N removal than co-diffusion biofilms.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)40-51
    Number of pages12
    JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
    Volume97
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2007 May 1

    Fingerprint

    Nitrogen removal
    Biofilms
    Oxidation-Reduction
    Nitrogen
    Oxygen
    Ammonia
    Gas permeable membranes
    Liquids
    Geometry
    Ammonium Compounds

    Keywords

    • Biofilm modeling
    • Co-diffusion biofilm
    • Completely autotrophic nitrogen removal
    • Counter-diffusion biofilm
    • Redox-stratification controlled biofilm (ReSCoBi)

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biotechnology
    • Microbiology

    Cite this

    Redox-stratification controlled biofilm (ReSCoBi) for completely autotrophic nitrogen removal : The effect of co- versus counter-diffusion on reactor performance. / Terada, Akihiko; Lackner, Susanne; Tsuneda, Satoshi; Smets, Barth F.

    In: Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Vol. 97, No. 1, 01.05.2007, p. 40-51.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    abstract = "A multi-population biofilm model for completely autotrophic nitrogen removal was developed and implemented in the simulation program AQUASIM to corroborate the concept of a redox-stratification controlled biofilm (ReSCoBi). The model considers both counter- and co-diffusion biofilm geometries. In the counter-diffusion biofilm, oxygen is supplied through a gas-permeable membrane that supports the biofilm while ammonia (NH4 +) is supplied from the bulk liquid. On the contrary, in the co-diffusion biofilm, both oxygen and NH4 + are supplied from the bulk liquid. Results of the model revealed a clear stratification of microbial activities in both of the biofilms, the resulting chemical profiles, and the obvious effect of the relative surface loadings of oxygen and NH4 + (J O2/JNH4+) on the reactor performances. Steady-state biofilm thickness had a significant but different effect on T-N removal for co- and counter-diffusion biofilms: the removal efficiency in the counter-diffusion biofilm geometry was superior to that in the co-diffusion counterpart, within the range of 450-1,400 μm; however, the efficiency deteriorated with a further increase in biofilm thickness, probably because of diffusion limitation of NH4 +. Under conditions of oxygen excess (J O2/JNH4+ > 3.98), almost all NH4 + was consumed by aerobic ammonia oxidation in the co-diffusion biofilm, leading to poor performance, while in the counter-diffusion biofilm, T-N removal efficiency was maintained because of the physical location of anaerobic ammonium oxidizers near the bulk liquid. These results clearly reveal that counter-diffusion biofilms have a wider application range for autotrophic T-N removal than co-diffusion biofilms.",
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