We present a two-dimensional biofilm growth model in a continuum framework using an Eulerian description. A computational technique based on the eXtended Finite Element Method (XFEM) and the level set method is used to simulate the growth of the biofilm. The model considers fluid flow around the biofilm surface, the advection-diffusion and reaction of substrate, variable biomass volume fraction and erosion due to the interfacial shear stress at the biofilm-fluid interface. The key assumptions of the model and the governing equations of transport, biofilm kinetics and biofilm mechanics are presented. Our 2D biofilm growth results are in good agreement with those obtained by Picioreanu et al. (Biotechnol Bioeng 69(5):504-515, 2000). Detachment due to erosion is modeled using two continuous speed functions based on: (a) interfacial shear stress and (b) biofilm height. A relation between the two detachment models in the case of a 1D biofilm is established and simulated biofilm results with detachment in 2D are presented. The stress in the biofilm due to fluid flow is evaluated and higher stresses are observed close to the substratum where the biofilm is attached.
- Fluid flow
- Interfacial shear stress
- Internal stress
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology