African Journal of
Microbiology Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Microbiol. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0808
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJMR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 5211

Full Length Research Paper

A simplified mathematical model of multi-species biofilm for simultaneous removal of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitric oxide (NO) using a biotrickling-filter

Yaqiong Han, Weijiang Zhang* and Jiao Xu
School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 01 March 2011
  •  Published: 04 March 2011



The population dynamics of a multi-species biofilm for simultaneous removal of nitric oxide (NO) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) in a laboratory-scale biotrickling-filter was described. Based on a simplified multispecies-multisubstrate model with the gas-liquid-biomembrane transfer theory, the calculations were compared to the long-term verification experiments. Simulation results were in good agreement with the experimental values of biofilm thickness, population densities of biofilm, total biomass dry weight and partial pressures of NO and SO2 in the outlet gas. The model has been proven to be capable of describing the dynamic biofilm growth, multiple biomass evolution and synergetic effect between sulfate reducing bacteria and denitrifying bacteria on simultaneous removal of NO and SO2. When NO feed concentration was constant at 1780 mg/m3 and SO2 feed concentration was shifted between 0 and 3200 mg/m3 every half hour, the removal efficiencies of NO and SO2 at steady-state were above 90 and 95%, both in the simulation and experiment.


Key words: Population dynamics, multispecies-multisubstrate, gas-liquid-biomembrane transfer, biotrickling-filter, simultaneous SO2 and NO removal.