Evaluation of bisubstrate secondary utilization kinetics by biofilms

Eun Namkung, Bruce E. Rittmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


A bisubstrate system having Ss1 > Smin 1 was tested with phenol and acetate as model compounds in completely mixed biofilm reactors. Two series of experiments compared the kinetics of phenol removal as a single substrate and as part of a bisubstrate system having a fixed total feed COD. Experimental results showed that, although the rate of utilization of either substrate was almost the same in a bisubstrate system as in a single substrate system, the utilization rate of either compound always was slightly greater in a bisubstrate system than in a single‐substrate system. This slight enhanced removal of an individual compound in a bisubstrate system was attributed to the extra biomass accumulated from the utilization of the other substrate. As the fraction of the feed COD contributed by an individual compound decreased in a bisubstrate system, the effluent concentration of that compound decreased and its fractional removal efficiency increased. The bisubstrate secondary‐utilization model successfully described the experimental results and explained the differences that occurred as phenol became a smaller fraction of the fixed total feed COD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-342
Number of pages8
JournalBiotechnology and bioengineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 20 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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