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Title:Long-term capacity for organic-substrate removal by bacterial films
Author(s):Rittmann, Bruce E.; Brunner, Craig W.
Contributor(s):University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Water resource development--Illinois
Water resources development
Waste water
Mathematical modeling
Trace organics
Geographic Coverage:Illinois (state)
Abstract:When wastewater is discharged to small streams, the effluent quality normally obtained from a sewage treatment plant is often not good enough to prevent serious water-quality deterioration. Hence, enhanced removal of organic pollutants is required. Efficient and economic removal of organics to very low concentrations is best achieved by biofilm processes, in which bacteria are attached to a fixed media and remove the organic compounds from the wastewater flowing past. Laboratory-scale reactors were utilized to evaluate the ability of biofilms to remove low levels of organic contaminants in water during extended operation. Nonsteady-state operation, in which trace concentrations of organic substrate were treated with a biofilm previously grown on a relatively high concentration feed, demonstrated that a slowly decaying biofilm was able to bring about high efficiency removal of the trace compound for extended periods, up to 7 months in this study. A kinetic model to describe the transient growth and decay of the biofilm was developed, and it predicted the growth and steady-state phases of the biofilm when input parameters were determined independently. The observed slow decay rate of the biofilm prolonged the usefulness of the nonsteady­state biofilm and was explained by adaptation to oligotrophic (low concentration) conditions and the growth of nitrifying bacteria which produced supplemental organic substrate to sustain the organic-utilizing bacteria. The results of this study demonstrated that nonsteady-state­biofilm processes can sustainably achieve organic concentrations much lower than conventional wastewater treatment.
Issue Date:1982-10
Publisher:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Water Resources Center
Genre:Report (Grant or Annual)
Sponsor:U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey
Rights Information:Copyright 1982 held by Bruce E. Rittmann
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-06-13

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