Numerical modeling of a biofilm-electrode reactor used for enhanced denitrification

J. R.V. Flora*, M. T. Suidan, S. Islam, P. Biswas, Y. Sakakibara

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


The enhancement of biological denitrification using a biofilm-electrode reactor (BER) is demonstrated. Removal efficiencies greater than 98% can be achieved. At electric currents in excess of 20 mA, the rate of denitrification within the BER is reduced due to hydrogen inhibition. A detailed steady-state biofilm model is developed taking into account hydrogen inhibition kinetics, the diffusion of neutral and ionic species, the effects of the applied current on the diffusion of ions, gas production within the biofilm, and the presence of a phosphate buffer and a mass transfer boundary layer. The biofilm model is coupled to a model of a completely stirred tank reactor (CSTR). The models are in excellent agreement with the experimental results when the applied electric current is between 0 and 20 mA. The results of the reactor model qualitatively predict the performance of the BER at currents greater than 20 mA using a hydrogen inhibition constant of 10-4 M.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-524
Number of pages8
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number10-11
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the IAWQ 2nd International Specialized Conference on Biofilm Reactors - Paris, Fr
Duration: 1993 Sept 291993 Oct 1


  • Biofilm
  • Denitrification
  • Electro-bioreactors
  • Hydrogen inhibition
  • Modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology


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