Two identical fixed bed reactors containing gas-permeable tubings as carrier material were compared for the elimination of chlorophenols. Under plug flow conditions, the continuous flow operation resulted in a stratification of biomass due to concentration gradients. To achieve a homogeneous colonization, the sequencing batch mode has been applicated to one biofilm reactor (Sequencing Batch Biofilm Reactor - SBBR). Concentration gradients after filling, probably due to sorption phenomena, caused an uneven distribution of biomass in the SBBR. However, the colonization of the SBBR was more homogeneous as compared to the continuously operated reactor (CFBR). As to the elimination of a trichlorophenol (2,4,5-trichlorophenol - TCP), no significant differences between the SBBR and the CFBR were observed with regard to its sensitivity against load surges. It is to be supposed that sorption to the biofilm was included in the elimination of chlorophenols. A higher diversity of protozoan community and meiofauna is obviously to be attributed to continuous flow.

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