A mathematical model of biological clogging of soil-sawdust media

Osama Eljamal, Kenji Jinno, Tosao Hosokawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The present study investigates how sawdust material affects the biological clogging and the transport properties of porous media. The decrease in porosity and hydraulic conductivity of a saturated porous media due to bacterial growth is commonly referred to as biological clogging. A one-dimensional model for biological clogging was used to study the progress of biological clogging in soil-sawdust column experiments. A model was developed simulating solute transport in soil-sawdust experimental columns including biological clogging processes. To simulate the biological clogging effects, the changes in porosity are calculated by converting biomass into volume, which directly reduces the porosity. The biomass growths are formulated using the Double Monod kinetic equation. Results from laboratory soil-sawdust experiments were used as data to verify the simulation results. The experimental results showed that the hydraulic conductivity in the columns decreased over time. Such decreases in the hydraulic conductivity are due to clogging of the soil pores by bacterial growth. The results from this study show that it is generally possible to simulate the laboratory experimental results with a mathematical numerical model. A detailed comparison between the experimental and the simulation results showed that good agreement was obtained. This study also shows that sawdust materials are promising materials for improving the hydraulic conductivity and removal of pollutants from wastewater.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Environmental Hydrology
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology


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