Measurement of local mass transfer coefficient in biofilms

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Local mass transfer rates for an electrochemically formed microsink in an aerobic biofilm was measured by a mobile microelectrode using limiting current technique. Mass transfer coefficients varied both horizontally and vertically in the biofilm. The results implied the existence of an irregular biofilm structure consisting of microbial cell clusters surrounded by tortuous water channels. An unexpected increase of the local mass transfer coefficient just above the biofilm surface suggested the existence, of local flow instability in this region. As expected, the influence of bulk flow velocity on the local mass transfer rate decreased with increasing depth into the biofilm. Mass transfer coefficients fluctuated significantly inside microbial cell clusters, suggesting the existence of internal channels through which liquid could flow. A new conceptual model of biofilm microbial cluster structure is proposed to account for such biofilm microstructure irregularities. © 1995 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.




Yang, S. and Z. Lewandowski, “Measurement of Local Mass Transfer Coefficient in Biofilms,” Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 48:737-744 (1995).
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