Substrate and biomass transport in a porous medium

Stewart W. Taylor, Peter R. Jaffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

154 Scopus citations


A model describing the transport of substrate and biomass in porous media is formulated which accounts for the transport, growth and decay of biomass suspended in the water phase and attached to the solid matrix as a biofilm. Interphase transport of biomass between the water phase and attached biofilm phase due to fluid mechanical shear and filtration is considered as well. Special attention is given to changes in the porosity, permeability, and dispersivity resulting from the biofilm altering the microscopic geometry of the pore space. A numerical solution to the governing equations is obtained by the finite element method. The model is calibrated and verified against experimental data. An application is presented which assesses the effects of pulsed substrate loading, flow rate, and flow duration on the clogging of porous media by biomass.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2181-2194
Number of pages14
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology


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