Soluble microbial products (SMP) formation kinetics by biofilms

Eun Namkung, Bruce E. Rittmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

214 Scopus citations


Soluble microbial products (SMP) formation kinetics were investigated by employing a laboratory-scale biofilm reactor and naturally-grown oligotrophs. The experimental results indicated that the majority of effluent soluble organic carbon(SOC) was SMP, while only a small fraction of the effluent SOC was the residual original substrate. Utilization-associated products (UAP), which were produced directly from substrate metabolism, were more important than biomass-associated products (BAP), which were produced by basic metabolism. The SMP contained mainly high-molecular-weight organic compounds, although the organic carbon source to a biofilm reactor was a low-molecular-weight compound. The steady-state concentrations of the effluent SMP and SOC were directly proportional to the influent substrate concentrations in this study. An extended steady-state biofilm model was developed by incorporating into the steady-state biofilm model an SMP formation model based on two types of SMP (i.e. UAP and BAP). The model described successfully the experimental substrate utilization, SMP formation, and the removal of total soluble organic matter (SOC).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)795-806
Number of pages12
JournalWater Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1986
Externally publishedYes


  • biomass-associated products (BAP)
  • kinetics
  • modeling
  • soluble microbial products (SMP)
  • steady-state biofilms
  • utilization-associated products (UAP)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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