Step changes in inlet concentration has been introduced into the completely mixed three-phase fluidized bed biofilm reactor treating simulated domestic wastewater to study the dynamic behavior of the system and to establish the suitable kinetic model from the response curve. Three identical reactors having different biomass volumes were operated in parallel. It was found that the response curves showed second-order characteristics, and thus at least two first-order differential equations are necessary to simulate the substrate and biomass response curves. Nonlinear regression analysis was performed using different types of rate equations and their corresponding kinetic parameters were used to simulate the theoretical response curve using the Runge-Kutta numerical integration method. As a result, although various types of conventional biokinetic models such as Monod, Haldane and Andrew types were examined, all the theoretical substrate response curves underestimated time constants compared to the actual substrate response plots. On the other hand, the theoretical curve of the kinetic model that incorporates adsorption term has best fit to the actual response in most of the cases. Thus, it was concluded that adsorption of substrate onto biofilm and carrier particles has significant effect on the dynamic response in biofilm processes.
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