Bacterial transport in porous media: new aspects of the mathematical model
SEN, TUSHAR KANTI
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Transport of bacteria is an important aspect from scientific, industrial and environmental point of view. In this work, a one-dimensional mathematical model based on linear equilibrium adsorption of bacteria has been developed to predict bacterial transport through porous media. This model is more realistic than existing models because of its coupling both physicochemical and biological phenomena. Two important biological phenomena, the growth and decay of bacterial cells and chemotactic/chemotaxis of bacteria along with physicochemical properties have been adequately incorporated which are quite new aspects in our model. In agreement with experimental study by [D.K. Powelson, R.J. Simpson, C.P. Gerba, J. Environ. Qual. 19 (1990) 396], model simulations indicated that enhancement of breakthrough occurs due to increase in flow velocity, cell concentration, substrate concentration, respectively. It has also been found that chemo tactic has a significant effect on bacterial transport, especially under conditions of considerable substrate gradient and at low pore velocity. The importance of threshold concentration of captured cells (σ0) on bacterial transport has also been identified which is also a new aspect in our model.
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