The biotransformation of 3-chlorobenzoate (3CB) by attached cells of Pseudomonas sp. strain B13 was studied in percolation columns operated at various flow rates and biomass contents. Steady-state residual effluent concentrations were compared with predictions from spreadsheet models describing the combined action of microbial and mass transfer kinetics. The effluent concentrations were successfully predicted above a critical ratio of flow rate and biomass. Below this critical point the steady-state residual effluent concentrations were higher than predicted and this deviation increased with decreasing flow rate:biomass ratios. The results are discussed in the light of convection-diffusion processes limiting the transport of both substrate and oxygen to the attached cells.

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