Biofilm development in a fixed bed biofilm reactor system performing municipal wastewater treatment was monitored aiming at accumulating colonization and maximum biofilm mass data usable in engineering practice for process design purposes. Initially a 6 month experimental period was selected for investigations where the biofilm formation and the performance of the reactors were monitored. The results were analyzed by two methods: for simple, steady-state process design purposes the maximum biofilm mass on carriers versus influent load and a time constant of the biofilm growth were determined, whereas for design approaches using dynamic models a simple biofilm mass prediction model including attachment and detachment mechanisms was selected and fitted to the experimental data. According to a detailed statistical analysis, the collected data have not allowed us to determine both the time constant of biofilm growth and the maximum biofilm mass on carriers at the same time. The observed maximum biofilm mass could be determined with a reasonable error and ranged between 438 gTS/m2 carrier surface and 843 gTS/m2, depending on influent load, and hydrodynamic conditions. The parallel analysis of the attachment–detachment model showed that the experimental data set allowed us to determine the attachment rate coefficient which was in the range of 0.05–0.4 m d−1 depending on influent load and hydrodynamic conditions.

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