Growth limiting conditions and denitrification govern extent and frequency of volume detachment of biofilms - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Chemical Engineering Journal Year : 2013

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

Abstract

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.
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Dates and versions

hal-00875873 , version 1 (23-10-2013)

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Nicolas Derlon, Carole Coufort-Saudejaud, Isabelle Queinnec, Etienne Paul. Growth limiting conditions and denitrification govern extent and frequency of volume detachment of biofilms. Chemical Engineering Journal, 2013, vol. 218, pp. 368-375. ⟨10.1016/j.cej.2012.11.061⟩. ⟨hal-00875873⟩
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