Biofilms in the environment can both cause detrimental and beneficial effects. However, their use in bioreactors provides many advantages including lesser tendencies to develop membrane fouling and lower required capital costs, their higher biomass density and operation stability, contribution to resistance of microorganisms, etc. Biofilm formation occurs naturally by the attachment of microbial cells to the support without use of any chemicals agent in biofilm reactors. Biofilm reactors have been studied and commercially used for waste water treatment and bench and pilot-scale production of value-added products in the past decades. It is important to understand the fundamentals of biofilm formation, physical and chemical properties of a biofilm matrix to run the biofilm reactor at optimum conditions. This review includes the principles of biofilm formation; properties of a biofilm matrix and their roles in the biofilm formation; factors that improve the biofilm formation, such as support materials; advantages and disadvantages of biofilm reactors; and industrial applications of biofilm reactors.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology