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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Water Science and Technology