Microfluidic study of effects of flow velocity and nutrient concentration on biofilm accumulation and adhesive strength in the flowing and no-flowing microchannels
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Biofilm accumulation in porous media can cause pore plugging and change many of the physical properties of porous media. Engineering bioplugging may have significant applications for many industrial processes, while improved knowledge on biofilm accumulation in porous media at porescale in general has broad relevance for a range of industries as well as environmental and water research. The experimental results by means of microscopic imaging over a T-shape microchannel clearly show that increase in fluid velocity could facilitate biofilm growth, but that above a velocity threshold, biofilm detachment and inhibition of biofilm formation due to high shear stress were observed. High nutrient concentration prompts the biofilm growth; however, the generated biofilm displays a weak adhesive strength. This paper provides an overview of biofilm development in a hydrodynamic environment for better prediction and modelling of bioplugging processes associated with porous systems in petroleum industry, hydrogeology and water purification.
KeywordsMicrofluidics Flow velocity Nutrient concentration Biofilm accumulation Adhesive strength
We wish to thank Edin Alagic, Rikke H. Ulvøen and Tove L. Eide for technical assistance. This work was supported by the Research Council of Norway and industry partner GOE-IP through the Project IMMENS No. 255426.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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