A simulation–based study to predict the impact of biofilm growth on displacement distributions for flow of water through a supporting packed bed is presented. The lattice Boltzmann method and a directed random walk algorithm are used, and are applied to the system with and without biofilm being present. The aim of this simulation study is to model the anomalous transport dynamics induced by biofilm, as reported in the literature, and thus to study the impact of observation time, Δ, on the shape of the displacement distributions (propagators). We believe that this is the first demonstration of a propagator simulation for flow through a complex porous structure modulated by biofilm growth. The propagator distributions undergo a transition from a pre-asymptotic to a Gaussian-shaped distribution with increasing Δ. The propagators were simulated for a wide range of Δ going up to 500 seconds. This transition occurs with and without biofilm, but is very significantly delayed when biofilm is present due to the consequential development of essentially stagnant regions. The transition can be classified into three stages: a diffusion-dominated stage, a “twin-peak” stage and an advection-dominated stage.

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