Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology

, Volume 42, Issue 10, pp 1363–1368 | Cite as

Model-based evaluation of ferrous iron oxidation by acidophilic bacteria in chemostat and biofilm airlift reactors

  • Sirous Ebrahimi
  • Neda Faraghi
  • Maryam Hosseini
Biotechnology Methods


This article presents a model-based evaluation of ferrous iron oxidation in chemostat and biofilm airlift reactors inoculated with a mixed culture of Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans and Leptospirillum ferrooxidans bacteria. The competition between the two types of bacteria in the chemostat and in the biofilm airlift reactors together with the distribution of both bacteria along the biofilm thickness at different time sections has been studied. The bacterial distribution profiles along the biofilm in the airlift reactor at different time scales show that in the beginning A. ferrooxidans bacteria are dominant, but when the reactor operates for a long time the desirable L. ferrooxidans species outcompete A. ferrooxidans as a result of the low Fe2+ and high Fe3+ concentrations. The results obtained from the simulation were compared with the experimental data of continuously operated internal loop airlift biofilm reactor. The model results are in good agreement with the experimental results.


Leptospirillum ferrooxidans Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans AQUASIM software Ferrous iron Biofilm airlift reactor Chemostat reactor 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sirous Ebrahimi
    • 1
  • Neda Faraghi
    • 1
  • Maryam Hosseini
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Chemical Engineering, Biotechnology Research CenterSahand University of TechnologyTabrizIran

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