A simple kinetic model has been developed for describing nitrite oxidation by autotrophic aerobic nitrifiers in a CSTR reactor, in which mixed (suspended and attached) growth conditions are prevailing. In this work, a critical dimensionless parameter is identified containing both biofilm characteristics and microbial kinetic parameters, as well as the specific (per volume) surface of the reactor configuration used. Evaluation of this dimensionless parameter can easily provide information on whether or not wall attachment is critical, and should be taken into account either in kinetic studies or in reactor design, when specific pollutants are to be removed from the waste influent stream. The effect of bulk dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration on the validity of this model is addressed and minimum non-limiting DO concentrations are proposed depending on the reactor configuration.

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