Modeling biochemically driven mineral precipitation in anaerobic biofilms

A. J. Cooke, R. K. Rowe, B. E. Rittmann, I. R. Fleming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


A numerical model links the build-up of mineral precipitate (primarily CaCO3) and the anaerobic activity of biofilms, which occur in granular material permeated with leachate from a municipal solid waste landfill. The model represents the porous-media flow system as a collection of elements in which each element acts as a separate, fixed-film reactor. The model represents biofilm growth for microorganisms carrying out acetogenesis of propionate and methanogenesis of acetate. It also directly links substrate utilization to mineral precipitation and accounts for the accumulation of inert biomass on the porous media at any time or position along the length of the column. Thus, the model describes the ecological interactions among fermenters, methanogens, inert biomass, and mineral precipitate. Although substrate utilization by the active microorganisms drives the entire system, mineral precipitate becomes a dominant component in the biofilm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-64
Number of pages8
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Biofilms
  • Clogging
  • Landfills
  • Leachate collection systems
  • Mineral precipitation
  • Modelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology


Dive into the research topics of 'Modeling biochemically driven mineral precipitation in anaerobic biofilms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this