Mechanisms of biofilm detachment in fluidized bed reactors

Cristiano Nicolella, Stefania Chiarle, Renzo Di Felice, Mauro Rovatti

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Biofilm detachment in liquid fluidized bed biological reactors was investigated to point out how different mechanisms influence the process. Erosion due to liquid shear and abrasion due to collisions of particles were considered as possible mechanisms of biomass detachment in liquid fluidized beds. A dimensional analysis technique allowed the identification of the significant parameters affecting the process. The influence of these parameters was established on a lab-scale reactor. An empirical model was proposed to correlate the experimental data and to analyze the effect of some characteristic quantities, such as particle Reynolds number, biomass fraction, liquid shear stress and solid concentration, on the detachment rate. Detachment rate strongly increased with fluid velocity while, owing to modifications in biofilm structure and morphology during the biological growth, it slightly decreased with liquid shear stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-235
Number of pages7
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1997
EventProceedings of the 1996 IAWQ 3rd International Specialised Conference on Biofilm Systems - Copenhagen, Den
Duration: Aug 27 1996Aug 30 1996


  • Biofilm
  • Detachment
  • Dimensional analysis
  • Fluidized bed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology

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