Modeling the development of biofilm density including active bacteria, inert biomass, and extracellular polymeric substances

Chrysi S. Laspidou, Bruce E. Rittmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

110 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present the unified multi-component cellular automaton (UMCCA) model, which predicts quantitatively the development of the biofilm's composite density for three biofilm components: active bacteria, inert or dead biomass, and extracellular polymeric substances. The model also describes the concentrations of three soluble organic components (soluble substrate and two types of soluble microbial products) and oxygen. The UMCCA model is a hybrid discrete- differential mathematical model and introduces the novel feature of biofilm consolidation. Our hypothesis is that the fluid over the biofilm creates pressures and vibrations that cause the biofilm to consolidate, or pack itself to a higher density over time. Each biofilm compartment in the model output consolidates to a different degree that depends on the age of its biomass. The UMCCA model also adds a cellular automaton algorithm that identifies the path of least resistance and directly moves excess biomass along that path, thereby ensuring that the excess biomass is distributed efficiently. A companion paper illustrates the trends that the UMCCA model is able to represent and shows a comparison with experimental results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3349-3361
Number of pages13
JournalWater Research
Volume38
Issue number14-15
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Biofilm
  • Cellular automaton
  • Consolidation
  • Density
  • Detachment
  • EPS
  • Inert biomass
  • Modeling
  • SMP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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