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Biotechnol Bioeng. 1995 Feb 5;45(3):212-8.

Effects of calcium on development of anaerobic acidogenic biofilms.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z4, Canada.


Anerobic biofilms with dominantly acidogenic bacteria were grown in fixed-bed recycle reactors. The influence of calcium concentration in the culture medium on biofilm mass accumulation, immobilized calcium concentration, and biofilm-specific activity was investigated. The results indicate that the biofilm mass accumulation was increased by the presence of calcium in the growth medium when calcium concentration was not higher than 120mg/L. Calcium accumulated in the biofilms increased in proportion to the calcium level in the feed. The biofilms for an increased input calcium concentration showed a trend of decrease in specific activity. The biofilms with a thickeness of less than 0.5 mm had the highest specific activity. The optimum calcium concentration for substrate consumption by the biofilms was 100 to 120 mg/L. The biofilms transferred from higher calcium medium to lower calcium medium were more susceptible to sloughing from their support surfaces, which indicates calcium's role in the stability of the biofilm structure.


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