Biofilm growth monitoring and control




North Jutland

Biofilm, exemplified by the nitrifying bacteria which colonize biofilter elements in biofilter units is central to recirculating aquaculture systems.
There are however uncontrolled growth of biofilm on biofilter carriers and other surfaces, including walls and pipes. The presence, potential implication and consequences of this biofilm is not known. Excessive biofilm growth may lead to impaired nitrification, anoxic zones which in saltwater systems increases the risks of unwanted HS2 release. Further issues caused by biofilm growth can affect geosmine levels, water and tank hydraulic, impair trickling filter efficacy, potentially hide pathogens and led to increased disinfection demand.

To investigate biofilm formation and associated bacterial activity and dynamics, a number of experimentally controlled studies are needed. 

The studies can include test and monitoring of biofilm under different conditions, i.e. as a result of increase dissolved organic matter content, in relation to maintenance and cleaning procedures or when exposed to water borne chemical. Studies looking into flow-patterns and/or use of tracers will also shed new light on the emerging issue relevant for the development and understanding of RAS operation.

Related biofilm investigations can also be made on biofilter elements from controlled experimental RAS and commercial fish farms. The methodology can include gravimetric determination of biofilm formation and include modification of a recent assys to assess microbial activity "Assessment of microbial activity in water based on hydrogen peroxide decomposition rates. 2019. Aquacultural Engineering85, 9-14." 

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Company / Organization

DTU Aqua


Lars-Flemming Pedersen




Supervisor info

MSc in Aquatic Science and Technology


Lars-Flemming Pedersen

ECTS credits

10 - 35


BSc project, MSc thesis, Special course

Technical University of Denmark

For almost two centuries DTU, Technical University of Denmark, has been dedicated to fulfilling the vision of H.C. Ørsted – the father of electromagnetism – who founded the university in 1829 to develop and create value using the natural sciences and the technical sciences to benefit society.

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