IWA Biofilm Reactors 2021 will host five Workshops: The preliminary schedule and the workshop descriptions are provided below. 

Preliminary schedule:

Friday (12/3)

  1. Harnessing biofilms for low-pressure filtration: Dynamic membrane bioreactor (DMBR) characterization, operation, and scale-up (8 – 10:30 EST)

Saturday (12/4)

  1. Fundamentals and New Developments in MABR Technology (9:00 – 11:30 EST).
  2. Biofilm Modeling in Practice (11 – 3:30 EST)

Sunday (12/5)

  1. Intensifying Continuous-flow Processes through Biological and Physical Selectors (9 – 2 EST)
  2. Biofilm density measurements by means of OCT - Fact or Fiction? (10 – 1 EST)

Registration is required for EACH workshop individually. Please go to the workshop of interest on the Whova agenda (follow link below), open the workshop description, and click on the Registration link. There is no additional charge for workshops and you may attend as many as you want.

Workshop registration

Workshop descriptions:

1. Harnessing biofilms for low-pressure filtration: Dynamic membrane bioreactor (DMBR) characterization, operation, and scale-up

Coordinators:  Tim Fairley-Wax, Lut Raskin, Steve Skerlos, University of Michigan

Potential Speakers/Panelists:

  • Dr. Guanghao Chen, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
  • Dr. Dao Guan, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
  • Dr. Peter Desmond, RWTH-Aachen
  • Shilva Shrestha, University of Michigan
  • Dr. Sang-Hyoun Kim, Yonsei University
  • Dr. Jules van Lier, TU Delft

Event description: The dynamic membrane bioreactor (DMBR) technology is an emerging approach for low-pressure filtration in water and waste treatment. The technology utilizes a biofilm developed on a low-cost mesh support to achieve liquid/solids separation and contribute to biological treatment. Workshop participants will learn about the fundamentals, current development, and potential to scale up DMBR technology. Speakers will discuss DMBR application scenarios ranging from aerobic, anoxic, and anaerobic treatment of mainstream municipal wastewater to anaerobic digestion of food waste and sewage sludge.

Duration: 2.5 hours.

2. Fundamentals and New Developments in MABR Technology

Coordinators:  Glen Daigger (University of Michigan) and Jeff Peters (Suez)

Potential Speakers/Panelists:

  • Jeff Guild, Bluetech Research
  • Gilad Yoge, Fluence
  • Barry Heffernan, Oxymem
  • Jeff Peeters, Suez
  • Robert Nerenberg, University of Notre Dame
  • Dwight Houweling, Dynamita

Event description: This event will provide participants an opportunity to learn about the current state-of-the-art and emerging applications for MABR technology and to contribute their own experiences.  Following an initial introduction to MABR technology, the workshop will consist of a series of breakouts lead by industry experts engaged in large-scale (demonstration and full-scale) applications of MABR technology globally.  Each breakout session will have an assigned general topic.  There will be two rounds of breakouts, followed by a report-back session so that the discussions can be shared by all. 

The duration will be 2-1/2 hours, and will include 30 minutes on MABR Fundamentals and Applications, then two 45-minute breakout sessions addressing a range of emerging MABR topics, for discussion.  The workshop will end with a common session for feedback and discussion.

The workshop will accommodate a broad audience with interests in MABR technology.  The initial session will provide participants with a “reminder” about the technology and then allow in-depth discussions with technology experts.  The content of these discussions will be driven by the interests of the breakout session participants.

Duration: 2.5 hours

3.Biofilm Modelling in Practice

Coordinators:  Dwight Houweling, PhD, PE; Dynamita, and Leon Downing, PhD, PE; Black & Veatch

Potential Speakers/Panelists:

  • Leon Downing, Black & Veatch
  • Dwight Houweling, Dynamita

Event description: The purpose of this workshop is to consolidate and transfer knowledge to workshop participants on the state-of-the-art in using biofilm models for engineering applications. Guided exercises for calibrating biofilm models to field data and applying to a retrofit case study will equip participants with skills and knowledge on how to use biofilm models as part of their day-to-day workflow. The speakers invited to deliver this workshop were identified as experts in both historic biofilm model understanding, as well as the impacts of new biofilm reactor technologies on biofilm model assumptions. Their knowledge base will provide attendees with a learning opportunity that will help advance the use of biofilm models for engineering design.
This workshop is focused on knowledge transfer, with a particular emphasis on practical modeling knowledge. The key outcomes for attendees include:

  • An understanding of how key biofilm model mechanisms impact biofilm reactor model calibration and design
  • Exposure to the model structure and code implemented for biofilm models in commercial software packages
  • Experience with example problems where biofilm models can be used for engineering evaluation and design

Duration: 4.5 hours

4.Intensifying Continuous-flow WWT Processes through Biological and Physical Selectors

Coordinators: Joshua P. Boltz (ASU) and Sudhir Murthy (NEWhub Corp)

Potential Speakers/Panelists:

  • Dr. Joshua P. Boltz, Arizona State University
  • Dr. Mari Winkler, University of Washington
  • Dr. Bernhard Wett, ARAconsult, Austria
  • Dr. Dwight Houweling, Dynamita
  • Dr. Belinda Sturm, University of Kansas
  • Dr. Nico Derlon, EAWAG
  • Mr. James McQuarrie, TetraTech
  • Dr. Jose Jimenez, Brown and Caldwell
  • Mr. Bruce Johnson, Jacobs
  • Dr. Bryce Figdore, HDR
  • Mr. Clement Roche, Suez
  • Dr. Beverley Stinson, AECOM
  • Dr. Sudhir Murthy, NEWhub
  • Dr. Glen Daigger, University of Michigan

Event description:This workshop will explore how biological selectors can be combined with physical selectors for the controlled accumulation of mobile biofilms, aerobic granules, and biological flocs, and how this can lead to process intensification of continuous wastewater treatment (WWT) for a range of treatment objectives.

The first session of this workshop will describe (1) relevant bacteria;  (2) ways to select for these bacteria;  (3) different biological forms (e.g., mobile biofilms, aerobic granules, and biological flocs), their characteristics, and where relevant bacteria may exist in them;  (4) modes of physical selection (e.g., screens, hydrocyclones, selective wasting, and hydrodynamic shear); and  (5) ways of analyzing hybrid continuously-flowing WWT processes that accumulate mobile biofilms, aerobic granules, and biological flocs.  The second session of this proposed workshop will survey state-of-the-art processes that use biological and physical selectors.  The approaches will be compared to state-of-the-art integrated-fixed film activated sludge (IFAS) and aerobic-granular sludge (AGS) processes.   Our objectives are to seek the commonalities amongst key biological processes that are relevant to this type of WWT intensification, and produce a state-of-the-art review such that biological and physical selectors can become embedded as ‘standard design practice’ for activated sludge plants.

Two, 120-minute sessions, and a 30-minute summary and discussion session are proposed.  The 120-minute sessions will include six speakers who will deliver 10-minute presentations followed by 5 minutes of Q&A.  Each session will conclude with a 30-minute open discussion that will be led by a session moderator.

Duration: 5 hours

5.Biofilm density measurements by means of OCT - Fact or Fiction? 

Coordinators: Dr. Michael Wagner (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Engler-Bunte-Institut, Water Chemistry and Water Technology, Germany)

Potential Speakers/Panelists:  

  • Dr. Michael Wagner (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Engler-Bunte-Institut, Water Chemistry and Water Technology, Germany),
  • Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Drexler (Head of Center for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, Medical University of Vienna, Austria),
  • Dr. Sebastian Schäfer (Thorlabs Germany)

Event description: Optical coherence tomography (OCT) has gained lots of attention in biofilm research within the past ten years. Its outstanding advantages over other imaging/visualization techniques commonly used for biofilms are (i) representative visualization of biofilm‘s mesoscopic structure in all spatial directions (incl. void space) at (ii) high-speed. OCT is thus developing further into a non-invasive monitoring tool following biofilm development over time as well as during treatment (e.g., flux change in membrane modules, application of cleaning agents). In addition of just being a visualization approach, structural parameters are determined correlating biofilm structure and its changes to cultivation conditions (e.g., shear stress, availability of carbon source, etc.). Meanwhile OCT is also used to determine mechanical properties of biofilms non-destructively and there are studies extracting feature of the biofilm matrix (e.g., biofilm wet density). Although, it seems logical to correlate signal intensity and density, there are challenges which might be underestimated to date.

Summing up, there is clearly the intention - in addition to imaging the biofilm structure - to estimate biofilm properties from OCT datasets. This workshop will thus provide (i) an overview of applications of OCT in biofilm research (Michael Wagner), (ii) the fundamentals of OCT (Wolfgang Drexler) as well as (iii) a technical understanding of OC tomographs (Sebastian Schäfer).

Duration: 3 hours.