Biofilm detachment in liquid fluidized bed biological reactors was investigated to point out how different mechanisms influence the process. Erosion due to liquid shear and abrasion due to collisions of particles were considered as possible mechanisms of biomass detachment in liquid fluidized beds. A dimensional analysis technique allowed the identification of the significant parameters affecting the process. The influence of these parameters was established on a lab-scale reactor. An empirical model was proposed to correlate the experimental data and to analyze the effect of some characteristic quantities, such as particle Reynolds number, biomass fraction, liquid shear stress and solid concentration, on the detachment rate. Detachment rate strongly increased with fluid velocity while, owing to modifications in biofilm structure and morphology during the biological growth, it slightly decreased with liquid shear stress.

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