In order to give detailed information about the local flow field in a bioreactor a numerical method has been developed. This method gives information about the velocity, pressure and temperature in each point of the reactor, avoiding the problems caused by placing measurement instruments inside. Comparisons of experiments and numerical results show good agreement. The functionality and physical fundamentals of this tool are described. This is followed by explaining a reasonable application of the numerical code in the field of biological reactors. The reactors considered are filled with polydisperse, spherical support particles. From the results of the simulation a detailed picture of a reactor's fluid mechanical behaviour is drawn. This includes the quantification of mechanical stresses on the biofilm surface as well as information about the inflow, outflow and channelling behaviour of a reactor. Furthermore the effect of polydisperse support carries in discussed.

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