Modeling of electrochemically-activated denitrifying biofilms

Yutaka Sakakibara, Joseph R.V. Flora, Makram T. Suidan*, Masao Kurodo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


The ability of an electrode-biofilm system to reduce nitrate has been experimentally demonstrated. In this system, a denitrifying biofilm is attached to an electrode and the H2 produced by the electrolysis of water is used for the reduction of NO3- to N2 gas. Complete denitrification was achieved in the presence of an electric current. A steady-state biofilm model describing the system is presented. The model takes into account the mass transfer rates, biological reaction rates and electrochemical reaction rates of H+, OH-, H2, NO3- and supporting electrolytes. The denitrification rates calculated using the model are in fairly good agreement with experimental results. The net denitrification rate is affected significantly by the electric current and its response can be divided into three regions, namely, the "linear", "plateau" and "decline" regions. The overall feasibility of the electrode-biofilm system is theoretically demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1077-1086
Number of pages10
JournalWater Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1994 May
Externally publishedYes


  • H utilization
  • biofilm model
  • denitrification
  • electric field
  • electrochemical biofilm reactor
  • mass transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecological Modelling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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