• Chunyan Li
  • Simon Felz
  • Michael Wagner
  • Susanne Lackner
  • Harald Horn

This study focused on characterizing the structure of biofilms developed on carriers used in lab-scale moving bed biofilm reactors. Both light microscopy (2D) and optical coherence tomography (OCT) were employed to track the biofilm development on carriers of different geometry and under different aeration rates. Biofilm structure was further characterized with respect to average biofilm thickness, biofilm growth velocity, biomass volume, compartment filling degree, surface area, etc. The results showed that carriers with a smaller compartment size stimulated a quick establishment of biofilms. Low aeration rates favored fast development of biofilms. Comparison between the results derived from 2D and 3D images revealed comparable results with respect to average biofilm thickness and compartment filling degree before the carrier compartments were fully willed with biomass. However, 3D imaging with OCT was capable of visualizing and quantifying the heterogeneous structure of biofilms, which cannot be achieved using 2D imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-136
JournalBioresource Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Research areas

  • Biofilm structure, Light microscopy, Moving bed biofilm reactor, Optical coherence tomography, Structural parameter

ID: 10119135