Morphological image analysis of biofilm evolution with quantitative analysis in a moving bed biofilm reactor
The quantitative analysis of biomass is essential for the research and application of moving bed biofilm reactors (MBBRs). However, the difficulty in measuring the attached growing biomass hinders the quantitative analysis of biofilm processes. In this study, a pilot-scale MBBR system was established to investigate biofilm evolution. The quantity of active heterotrophic and autotrophic biomass was measured throughout the entire culturing process. The total active biomass reached 250 mg COD/m2 when the biofilm attachment and detachment were balanced, and the corresponding autotrophic biomass contributes to as high as 17 % of the total biomass. Furthermore, quantitative image analysis was performed to obtain the thickness and morphological data of the biofilm evolution. Multivariate regression models were constructed based on the morphological data, which provided satisfactory prediction accuracy for the biofilm thickness and maturation. The most suitable carrier spots for biomass quantification and biofilm maturation were suggested. This work provided the life-cycle information of biofilm quantity and morphology of the MBBR, which contributes to the quantitative understanding of biofilm evolution at MBBRs.
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