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A Steady-State Biofilm Model for Simultaneous Reduction of Nitrate and Perchlorate, Part 1: Model Development and Numerical Solution

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journal contribution
posted on 07.02.2012, 00:00 by Youneng Tang, Heping Zhao, Andrew K. Marcus, Bruce, E. Rittmann
A multispecies biofilm model is developed for simultaneous reduction of nitrate and perchlorate in the H2-based membrane biofilm reactor. The one-dimension model includes dual-substrate Monod kinetics for a steady-state biofilm with five solid and five dissolved components. The solid components are autotrophic denitrifying bacteria, autotrophic perchlorate-reducing bacteria, heterotrophic bacteria, inert biomass, and extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). The dissolved components are nitrate, perchlorate, hydrogen (H2), substrate-utilization-associated products, and biomass-associated products (BAP). The model explicitly considers four mechanisms involved in how three important operating conditions (H2 pressure, nitrate loading, and perchlorate loading) affect nitrate and perchlorate removals: (1) competition for H2, (2) promotion of PRB growth due to having two electron acceptors (nitrate and perchlorate), (3) competition between nitrate and perchlorate reduction for the same resources in the PRB: electrons and possibly reductase enzymes, and (4) competition for space in the biofilm. Two other special features are having H2 delivered from the membrane substratum and solving directly for steady state using a novel three-step approach: finite-difference for approximating partial differential and/or integral equations, Newton–Raphson for solving nonlinear equations, and an iterative scheme to obtain the steady-state biofilm thickness. An example result illustrates the model’s features.