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Modelling the effects of pH on subsurface microbial growth processes

Masum, S. A. and Thomas, H. R. 2018. Modelling the effects of pH on subsurface microbial growth processes. Presented at: 21st Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference, Adelaide, SA, Australia, 10-13 December 2018. Proceedings of the 21st Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference. Australasian Fluid Mechanics Society,

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Abstract

Subsurface microbial processes can be harnessed for a wide range of useful geo-engineering and geo-energy applications. On that regard, a coupled numerical model has been developed under a Thermo-Hydro-Chemical-Mechanical (THCM) framework including subsurface microbial processes and associated bio-geochemical reactions. In this work, the model has been used to investigate the effect of pH on biofilm growth of two bacterial species and the consequent impacts on porous media flow properties i.e. porosity and permeability. The processes have been investigated in both single-phase and two-phase flow. Microbial activities significantly influenced by pH, as it regulates the ionization state of a system. Microbial cell-enzymes contain ionizable groups which need to be in appropriate ionic state to bind substrates and grow biomass. The effect of pH on a medium containing either a mixed species biofilm or a mono-species biofilm has been observed over a dynamic pH condition. The results suggest that a mixed bacterial species biofilm that covers a wide range of pH activity would be ideal for bio-barrier applications. Otherwise, if a single species is chosen which is active within a specific pH range will be dormant if the pH is not in favourable regime.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Publisher: Australasian Fluid Mechanics Society
ISBN: 978-0-646-59784-3
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2020 16:38
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/127356

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