Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/27/2009
Publication Date: 3/1/2010
Citation: Qureshi, N. 2010. Beneficial Biofilms: Wastewater and Other Industrial Applications. In: Fratamico, P.M., Annous, B.A., Gunther IV, N.W., editors. Biofilms in Food and Beverage Industries. Oxford: Woodhead Publishing Limited. p. 474-498.
Technical Abstract: This chapter describes the use of beneficial biofilms for the production of industrial chemicals such as ethanol, butanol, lactic acid, acetic acid/vinegar, succinic acid, and fumaric acid. It also emphasizes application of biofilm reactors for treatment of dairy industry wastewater, oily sea water, and wastewater in general. Biofilm formation is a natural process where microbial cells attach to support (adsorbent) particles without the use of exogenous chemicals and form thick microbial cell layers known as "biofilms." As a result of biofilm formation, high cell densities (>60 gL**-1) are achieved which increase the rate of production of chemicals also known as "productivity." The bioreactor designs where these biofilms are used can be batch, continuous stirred tank (CSTR), packed bed (PBR), fluidized bed (FBR), airlift (ALR), or any other suitable reactor configuration. A comparison of biofilm reactors with other reactor systems suggests that biofilm reactors are simple and offer higher productivities. Biofilm supports such as bonechar and clay brick particles are also economically available. The biofilm reactors can be operated for prolonged periods, thus reducing process cost. It is clear that the use of biofilm reactors (in laboratory scale) has been consistently increasing for the production of various industrial chemicals. As productivities in these simple biofilm reactors are high, their full potential should be employed for biotechnological/biological conversion processes.