Experimental investigations on the kinetics of wastewater treatment processes in biofilms were performed in a laboratory reactor. Parallel with the kinetic experiments, the influence of the biofilm kinetics on the biofilm structure was studied at macroscopic and microscopic levels. The close interrelationship between biofilm kinetics and structural changes caused by the kinetics is illustrated by several examples. From the study, it is evident that the traditional modelling of wastewater treatment processes in biofilm reactors based on substrate removal kinetics alone will fail in many cases, due to the inevitable changes in the biofilm structure not taken into consideration. Therefore design rules for substrate removal in biofilms used for wastewater treatment must include correlations between the removal kinetics and the structure and development of the biological film.

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