Model of steady‐state‐biofilm kinetics

Bruce E. Rittmann, Perry L. McCarty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

436 Scopus citations


A steady‐state biofilm is defined as one that has neither net growth nor decay over time. The model, developed for steady‐state‐biofilm kinetics with a single substrate, couples the flux of substrate into a biofilm to the mass (or thickness) of biofilm that would exist at steady‐state for a given bulk substrate concentration. Based on kinetic and energetic constraints, this model predicts for a single substrate that a steady‐state bulk concentration, Smin, exists below which a steady‐state biofilm cannot exist. Thus, in the absence of adsorption of bacteria from the bulk water and for substrate concentration below Smin, substrate flux and biofilm thickness are zero. Equations are provided for calculating the steady‐state substrate flux and biofilm thickness for S greater than Smin. An example is provided to demonstrate the use of the steadystate model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2343-2357
Number of pages15
JournalBiotechnology and bioengineering
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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