Now showing 1 - 10 of 12
  • Publication
    Studies on the effect of concentration of a self-inhibitory substrate on biofilm reaction rate under co-diffusion and counter diffusion configurations
    (Elsevier, 2009-06-15) ; ;
    A simple mathematical model was developed to investigate the utilization rate of a self-inhibitory substrate in idealised biofilm reactors operating with either counter-diffusion or co-diffusion of oxygen and phenol. This study has implications for the development of membrane-supported biofilm technologies, such as the membrane-aerated biofilm reactor. An unsteady-state formulation of the model was used to investigate the effect of shock loads of phenol on biofilm performance. It was found that the counter-diffusion configuration may be advantageous under high phenol concentrations provided the biofilm thickness is above a critical value. The performance advantage of the counter-diffusion configuration is gained by the presence of an oxygen depleted layer, adjacent to the liquid–biofilm interface which acts as a diffusive barrier to phenol transport to the region of respiratory activity.
      380Scopus© Citations 12
  • Publication
    Model-based comparative performance analysis of membrane aerated biofilm reactor configurations
    (Wiley, 2008-04-15) ;
    The potential of the membrane aerated biofilm reactor (MABR) for high-rate bio-oxidation was investigated. A reaction-diffusion model was combined with a preliminary hollow-fiber MABR process model to investigate reaction rate-limiting regime and to perform comparative analysis on prospective designs and operational parameters. High oxidation fluxes can be attained in the MABR if the intra-membrane oxygen pressure is sufficiently high, however the volumetric oxidation rate is highly dependent on the membrane specific surface area and therefore the maximum performance, in volumetric terms, was achieved in MABRs with relatively thin fibers. The results show that unless the carbon substrate concentration is particularly high, there does not appear to be an advantage to be gained by designing MABRs on the basis of thick biofilms even if oxygen limitations can be overcome.
      788Scopus© Citations 37
  • Publication
    Treatment of fluoroacetate by a Pseudomonas fluorescens biofilm grown in membrane aerated biofilm reactor
    Fluorinated organic compounds have widespread applications, and their accumulation in the environment is a concern. Biofilm reactors are an effective technology for the treatment of contaminated wastewater, yet almost no research has been conducted on the effectiveness of biofilms for the biodegradation of fluorinated aliphatic compounds. In this paper we describe experiments undertaken to investigate the degradation of fluoroacetate using a membrane aerated biofilm reactor (MABR) by Pseudomonas fluorescens DSM8341. The concentration of fluoroacetate in the medium influenced biofilm structure, with less dense biofilm observed at lower fluoroacetate loading rates. As biofilm thickness increased, oxygen utilization decreased, probably as a consequence of increased resistance to oxygen transfer. Furthermore, most of the biofilm was anaerobic, since oxygen penetration depth was less than 1000 μm. Biofilm performance, in terms of fluoroacetate removal efficiency, was improved by decreasing the fluoroacetate loading rate, however increasing the intramembrane oxygen pressure had little effect on biofilm performance. A mathematical model showed that while fluoroacetate does not penetrate the entire biofilm, the defluorination intermediate metabolite glycolate does, and consequently the biofilm was not carbon limited at the biofilm−membrane interface where oxygen concentrations were highest. The model also showed the accumulation of the free fluoride ion within the biofilm. Overflow metabolism of glycolate was identified to be most likely a result of a combination of oxygen limitation and free fluoride ion inhibition. The study demonstrated the potential of MABR for treating wastewater streams contaminated with organofluorine compounds.
      730Scopus© Citations 22
  • Publication
    Tracer measurements reveal experimental evidence of biofilm consolidation
    (Wiley, 2007-11-01)
    The ability to simultaneously measure both biofilm thickness and the mass transfer coefficient of an inert tracer through it provides a powerful method to study biofilm development. In this communication previously published data has been collated to interpret global trends in biofilm structure during the transition towards steady-state. It appears that sudden changes in biofilm structure (directly related to the rate of change of biofilm mass transfer resistance) may occur following transitions in rate of biomass production. These observations are consistent with the concept of consolidation, recently introduced into spatially structured biofilm mathematical models to account for structural realignment of the biofilm under dynamic conditions.
      330Scopus© Citations 13
  • Publication
    Disinfection of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilms using a remote non-thermal gas plasma
    The effective disinfection of hospital surfaces is recognised as an important factor in preventing hospital-acquired infections. The purpose of this study was to quantify the disinfection rate of a novel gas plasma system on clinically relevant biofilms. Clinical isolates of Staphylococcus epidermidis and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) were grown as biofilms on glass surfaces and tested in a disinfection container remote from the plasma source. The strains used in this study were known to produce substantial quantities of biofilm and average log10 counts were 9.0 and 9.1 cfu/cm2 for S. epidermidis and MRSA respectively. Counts were reduced by between 4 and 4.5 log10 after 1 h of exposure for MRSA and S. epidermidis respectively. More prolonged treatment in the case of MRSA biofilms resulted in a 5.5 log10 reduction after 90 min. Biofilm samples were also placed in medical device packaging bags and similar rates of disinfection were observed.
      1576Scopus© Citations 45
  • Publication
    Rapid depletion of dissolved oxygen in 96 well microtitre plate Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilm assays promotes biofilm development and is influenced by inoculum cell concentration
    Biofilm-related research using 96-well microtiter plates involves static incubation of plates indiscriminate of environmental conditions, making oxygen availability an important variable which has not been considered to date. By directly measuring dissolved oxygen concentration over time we report here that dissolved oxygen is rapidly consumed in Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilm cultures grown in 96-well plates irrespective of the oxygen concentration in the gaseous environment in which the plates are incubated. These data indicate that depletion of dissolved oxygen during growth of bacterial biofilm cultures in 96-well plates may significantly influence biofilm production. Furthermore higher inoculum cell concentrations are associated with more rapid consumption of dissolved oxygen and higher levels of S. epidermidis biofilm production. Our data reveal that oxygen depletion during bacterial growth in 96-well plates may significantly influence biofilm production and should be considered in the interpretation of experimental data using this biofilm model.
      871Scopus© Citations 17
  • Publication
    Characterisation of a modified rotating disk reactor for the cultivation of Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilm
    Aims:  The purpose of this study was to develop a system that would allow biofilms to be cultivated under strictly defined conditions in terms of dissolved oxygen, fluid shear and to assess whether the method was suitable for the detection of respiratory activity stratification in biofilm samples. Methods:  The system is a modified version a commercially available laboratory biofilm reactor and incorporates a number of features such as the provision of defined levels of dissolved oxygen, constant average shear, enhanced gas–liquid mass transfer, aseptic operation and the ability to remove biofilm for ex situ analysis during or after continuous cultivation. Conclusions:  The system was shown to be effective for the characterization of the effects of dissolved oxygen on a pure culture of Staphylococcus epidermidis. The versatility of the system offers the potential for cultivating pure culture biofilm in defined, controlled conditions and facilitates a range of analyses that can be performed ex situ. Significance and Impact of the Study:  The ability to provide strict regulation of environmental conditions and enhanced transfer of oxygen to the biofilm during cultivation are important, first because oxygen is known to regulate biofilm development in several micro-organisms and second because many conventional biofilm cultivation systems may not provide adequate oxygen supply to the biofilm.
      672Scopus© Citations 11
  • Publication
    Oxygen-mediated regulation of biofilm development is controlled by the alternative sigma factor sigma(B) in Staphylococcus epidermidis
    Using a modified rotating-disk reactor to sparge oxygen to Staphylococcus epidermidis cultures, we found that oxygen negatively regulates biofilm development by influencing the activity of {sigma}B. Under anaerobic conditions, increased {sigma}B activity activates icaADBC, which encodes enzymes responsible for polysaccharide intercellular adhesin synthesis, by repressing transcription of the negative regulator icaR.
      340Scopus© Citations 28
  • Publication
    Factors influencing 4-fluorobenzoate degradation in biofilm cultures of Pseudomonas knackmussii B13
    Membrane aerated biofilm reactors (MABRs) have potential in wastewater treatment as they permit simultaneous COD minimisation, nitrification and denitrification. Here we report on the application of the MABR to the removal of fluorinated xenobiotics from wastewater, employing a Pseudomonas knackmussii monoculture to degrade the model compound 4-fluorobenzoate. Growth of biofilm in the MABR using the fluorinated compound as the sole carbon source occurred in two distinct phases, with early rapid growth (up to 0.007 h−1) followed by ten-fold slower growth after 200 h operation. Furthermore, the specific 4-fluorobenzoate degradation rate decreased from 1.2 g g−1 h−1 to 0.2 g g−1 h−1, indicating a diminishing effectiveness of the biofilm as thickness increased. In planktonic cultures stoichiometric conversion of substrate to the fluoride ion was observed, however in the MABR, approximately 85% of the fluorine added was recovered as fluoride, suggesting accumulation of ‘fluorine’ in the biofilm might account for the decreasing efficiency. This was investigated by culturing the bacterium in a tubular biofilm reactor (TBR), revealing that there was significant fluoride accumulation within the biofilm (0.25 M), which might be responsible for inhibition of 4-fluorobenzoate degradation. This contention was supported by the observation of the inhibition of biofilm accumulation on glass cover slips in the presence of 40 mM fluoride. These experiments highlight the importance of fluoride ion accumulation on biofilm performance when applied to organofluorine remediation.
      975Scopus© Citations 31
  • Publication
    Membrane aerated biofilms for high rate biotreatment : performance appraisal, engineering principles, scale-up and development requirements
    (ACS, 2008-03-15) ;
    Diffusion of the electron acceptor is the rate controlling step in virtually all biofilm reactors employed for aerobic wastewater treatment. The membrane-aerated biofilm reactor (MABR) is a technology that can deliver oxygen at high rates and transfer efficiencies, thereby enhancing the biofilm activity. This paper provides a comparative performance rate analysis of the MABR in terms of its application for carbonaceous pollutant removal, nitrification/denitrification and xenobiotic biotreatment. We also describe the mechanisms influencing process performance in the MABR and the inter-relationships between these factors. The challenges involved in scaling-up the process are discussed with recommendations for prioritization of research needs.
      1982Scopus© Citations 212