A mathematical model to simulate the three-dimensional growth of multispecies anaerobic biofilms is developed and tested with a two-species biofilm composed of sulfate-reducing bacteria and methanogens. The numerical approach is based on the separation of biological, physical, and chemical phenomena so that quasi-steady-state conditions can be used in the solution. Simulations with Desulfovibrio vulgaris and Methanobacterium formicicum result in the formation of a biofilm heterogeneous in structure and composition. The model predicts different biofilm structures in the absence of sulfate, when a syntrophic association between the two organisms develops, and in the presence of sulfate, when the two organisms compete for the available hydrogen.
Simulation of multispecies biofilm development in three dimensions
Daniel R. Noguera, Gonzalo Pizarro, David A. Stahl, Bruce E. Rittmann; Simulation of multispecies biofilm development in three dimensions. Water Sci Technol 1 April 1999; 39 (7): 123–130. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.1999.0343
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