WIT Press

Control Of RBC System By Activity Microbial Measurements


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WIT Press


MaD Coello, D Sales & J Ma Quiroga


Biofilms have been successfully used in water treatment for over a century. Biofilm composition and activity are two important parameters for the successfully operation and control of fixed film processes in water and wastewater treatment. Widely used parameters for biofilm characterisation are biofilm thickness, total dry weight and total cell count. These parameter are, however, not sufficient to describe biofilm activity. Improved analytical methods and procedures The discussion focussed on the potential methods for accurate biofilm characterization and biomass activity estimation in fundamental research and for the practical needs of wastewater treatment operation and control. 1. Introduction The rotating biological contactor (RBC) system is made of a series of closely spaced disks partially immersed in a tank through which wastewater flows. Its biological principle is based on the development of thick and complex microbial film on the disk surface [l]. The design of the RBC system in several compartments is believed to affect the biofilm composition since the physical- chemical and biological conditions are changed along the RBC [2]. Several studies focusing on specific aspects of the RBC system have carried out [l]. Nonetheless, RBC studies integrating several methods for biofilm analysis in a particular RBC system have not been so far addressed. Moreover, many of the RBC research has been done in laboratory or pilot-scale units, and these, as being under constant and controlled conditions, do not exactly emulate the full-scale operation. Therefore, more studies on full-scale are necessary to better understanding the microbiology of the RBC and its relation with performance of this biological system.