Modelling biofilm development: the importance of considering the link between EPS distribution, detachment mechanisms and physical properties - INSA Toulouse - Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Toulouse Access content directly
Journal Articles Water Research Year : 2024

Modelling biofilm development: the importance of considering the link between EPS distribution, detachment mechanisms and physical properties

Abstract

In industry treatments against biofilms need to be optimized and in the wastewater treatment field, biofilm composition needs to be controlled. Therefore, describing the biochemical and physical structures of biofilms is now required to better understand the influence of operating parameters and treatment on biofilms. The present study aims to investigate how growth conditions influence EPS composition, biofilm physical properties and volume detachment using a 1D biofilm model. Two types of EPS are considered in the present model, proteins and polysaccharides. The main hypotheses are that: (i) the production of polysaccharides occurs mainly under strong nutrient limitation(s) occurs while the production of proteins is coupled to both the substrate uptake rate and the lysis process; (ii) the local biofilm porosity depends on the local biofilm composition. Both volume and surface detachment occur in biofilms and volume detachment extent depends on the biofilm local cohesion and thus on the local composition of biofilms for a given shear stress. The model is based on experimental trends and aims to represent these observations on the basis of biochemical and physical processes. Four case studies covering a wide range of contrasting growth conditions such as different COD/N ratios, applied SOLR and shear stresses are investigated. The model predicts how the biochemical and physical biofilm structures change as a result of contrasting growth conditions. More precisely simulation results are in good agreement with the main experimental observations reported in the literature, such as: (i) a strong nitrogen limitation of growth induces an important accumulation of polysaccharides leading to a more porous and homogenous biofilm, (ii) a high applied surface organic loading load allows to obtain a high biofilm thickness, (iii) a strong shear stress applied during the biofilm growth leads to a reduction of the biofilm thickness and to a consolidation of the biofilm structure. Overall, this model represents a relevant decision tool for the selection of appropriate enzymatic treatments in the context of negative biofilm control. From our results, it appears that protease based treatments should be more appropriate for biofilms developed under low COD/N ratios (about 20 gCOD/gN) whereas both glucosidases and proteases based treatments should be more appropriate for biofilms developed under high COD/N ratio (about 70 gCOD/gN). In addition, the model could be useful for other applications such as resource recovery in biofilms or granules, and help to better understand biological membrane fouling.

Dates and versions

hal-04334703 , version 1 (11-12-2023)

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Cite

Y. Pechaud, N. Derlon, Isabelle Queinnec, Y. Bessiere, E. Paul. Modelling biofilm development: the importance of considering the link between EPS distribution, detachment mechanisms and physical properties. Water Research, 2024, 250, pp.120985. ⟨10.1016/j.watres.2023.120985⟩. ⟨hal-04334703⟩
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