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Attached growth biological process

(Fixed-film process 、 Biofilm process)

farid khan
What is a biofilm?

A biofilm is a structured community of bacterial and

other microbial cells enclosed in a polymeric matrix
and adhered on an inert or living surface.
Biofilms consists of three components:
a. microorganisms
b. extracellular polymeric substances (EPS, glycolax)
c. surface

PD Dr. Ursula Obst, National Research Center Karlsruhe, Germany

Microbes are not lonely
threavers in the environment
but love to live in community.

PD Dr. Ursula Obst, National Research Center Karlsruhe, Germany

Adhesive growth of mixed microbial
population on surfaces (microbes + surface)
Planktonic vs. fixed
Biofilm formation is induced due to bacterial
Extracellular Polymeric Substance (EPS)
胞外聚合物 − slime layer 黏液層 (glycocalyx

醣外被 )
PD Dr. Ursula Obst, National Research Center Karlsruhe, Germany
PD Dr. Ursula Obst, National Research Center Karlsruhe, Germany
Glycocalyx or ‘slime’ formation
Biofilm bacteria excrete extracellular polymeric substances, or
sticky polymers, which hold the biofilm together and cement it
to a surface. In addition, these polymer strands trap scarce
nutrients and protect bacteria from biocides.
Attachment is mediated by extracellular polymers that extend
outward from the bacterial cell wall (much like the structure of
a spider’s web). This polymeric material, or glycocalyx,
consists of charged and neutral polysaccharides groups that
not only facilitate attachment but also act as an ion-exchange
system for trapping and concentrating trace nutrients from the
overlying water. The glycocalyx also acts as a protective
coating for the attached cells which mitigates the effects of
biocides and other toxic substances.

PD Dr. Ursula Obst, National Research Center Karlsruhe, Germany

heat exchanger overgrown by biofilms
after treatment with degradable anti- huge biofilm from a warm water pool,
corrosives (courtesy HC Flemming) Yellowstone NP

Cell surface structures such as fimbriae, other proteins, LPS,

EPS, and flagella all clearly play an important role in the
attachment process.

The attachment of microorganisms to surfaces is a very

complex process, with many variables affecting the outcome.
In general, attachment will occur most readily on surfaces that
are rougher, more hydrophobic.

PD Dr. Ursula Obst, National Research Center Karlsruhe, Germany

Biofilm Processes
advantages of biofilm processes:
- higher process productivity
(loading rates)
- higher biomass holdup
- higher mean cell residence time
- no need for biomass recirculation
- creates suitable environment for each
type of bacteria
- sustains toxic loads
Biofilm Processes

• types :
- Trickling filters 滴濾池
- Rotating Biological Contactors 生物圓盤

- Biological Contact Oxidation 接觸曝氣法、
生 物接觸氧化法 (Contact biofilter 接觸濾床法
滴濾池 RBC

曝氣法之 三越企業股份公司

Source: 有限公司
Trickling Filters
Rotating distribution arm sprays primary
effluent over circular bed of rock or other
coarse media
Air circulates in pores between rocks
“Biofilm” develops on rocks and micro-
organisms degrade waste materials as
they flow past
Organisms slough off in clumps when film
gets too thick
Trickling Filters

Filter Material
BOD5 oxidation of BOD
trickling filter




Trickling filters are operated aerobically and need additional denitrification steps.

PD Dr. Ursula Obst, National Research Center Karlsruhe, Germany

Aerobic secondary wastewater treatment processes
(Trickling Filter)

Rocks:10–15 cm in diameter, the bed is 2 m deep

Trickling Filters
Not a true filtering or sieving process
Material only provides surface on which
bacteria to grow
Can use plastic media
– lighter - can get deeper beds (up to 12 m)
– reduced space requirement
– larger surface area for growth
– greater void ratios (better air flow)
– less prone to plugging by accumulating slime
Rotating Biological Contactors

Called RBCs
Consists of series of closely spaced discs
mounted on a horizontal shaft and rotated
while ~40% of each disc is submerged in
Discs: Steer or light-weight plastic
Slime is 1-3 mm in thickness on disc
Rotating Biological
Rotating Biological Contactors


Film Shearing of excess

mixes with microorganisms

Attached microorganisms
pick up organics
Rotating Biological Contactors


Sludge Treatment
Fixed-film bioreactor
Cost-effective -low capital and O&M costs
Small operation land requiried
High biomass density & low sludge
Minimizes washout of slow-growing
Capable of handling both hydraulic and
organic shock loads
Modifications of Basic Biological Methods

Activated sludge with fixed-film packing

– Submerged Aerobic Filter (SAF)
Synthetic packing materials developed for use in
AS processes, may be suspended in the liquid
or fixed in the aeration tank
Enhance the AS process by providing a greater
biomass concentration and reducing the basin
size requirements
Improve nitrification rates and accomplish
denitrification in aeration tanks by having anoxic
zones within the biofilm depth
Modifications of Basic Biological Methods

Because of the complexity of the process

and issues related to understanding the
biofilm area and activity, the process
designs are empirical and based on prior
pilot-plant or limited full-scale results.
There are now >10 different variations of
processes with suspended packing,
including the Captor®, Linpor® and
Moving-Bed Biofilm Reactor (MBBR)
Developed by a Norwegian company
AS process added with small cylindrical
shaped polyethylene carrier (10 mm in
diameter and 7 mm in height; 0.96 g/ml) in
aerated or non-aerated basins to support
biofilm growth
N removal through both nitrification (with
O2) and denitrification (without O2)
• Effluent rate : 30 L/day • HRT : 12.5 hr
• Sludge return rate : 15 L/dat • DO : 2~3 mg/ L