A modeling study of anaerobic biofilm systems: I. Detailed biofilm modeling

Joseph R.V. Flora, Makram T. Suidan, Pratim Biswas, Gregory D. Sayles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


A detailed model acetate‐utilizing methanogenic biofilms accounting for the diffusion of neutral and ionic species, chemical equilibrium, electroneutrality, gas production within the biofilm, pH‐dependent Monod kinetics, and the presence of a concentration boundary layer is presented. The model qualitatively fits the pH profiles that are reported for acetate‐utilizing methanogenic aggregates. A sensitivity analysis on the biological parameters showed that the flux of acetate is sensitive to the maximum utilization rate, half‐saturation constant, and biofilm density for the bulk conditions investigated. Criteria when traditional biofilm models can be used to predict the flux of acetate into the biofilm are established. If the maximum pH change predicted using a hypothetical system is within ±0.05, the traditional model predicts the flux to within ±5% of the value calculated with the model developed in this study. © 1995 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-53
Number of pages11
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 5 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • acetate
  • anaerobic biofilms
  • biofilm modeling
  • mass transfer
  • pH

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


Dive into the research topics of 'A modeling study of anaerobic biofilm systems: I. Detailed biofilm modeling'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this