This paper presents a unified model that inter-relates gas flow rate, liquid flow rate, and hold-ups of each of the liquid, gas, and solid phases in three-phase, fluidized-bed biofilm (TPFBB) process. It describes how carrier properties, biofilm properties, and gas and liquid flow velocities control the system dynamics, which ultimately will affect the density, thickness, and distribution of the biofilm. The paper describes the development of the mathematical model to correlate the effects of gas flow rate, liquid flow rate, solid concentration, and biofilm thickness and density. This knowledge is critically needed in light of the use of TPFBB processes in treating industrial wastewater, which often has high substrate concentration. For example, the proper design of the TPFBB process requires mathematical description of the cause-effect relationship between biofilm growth and fluidization.

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