Increased mass transfer to microorganisms with fluid motion

Bruce E. Logan, James W. Dettmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The effect of fluid flow and laminar shear on bacterial uptake was examined under conditions representative of the fluid environment of unattached and attached cells in wastewater treatment bioreactors. Laminar shear rates below 50 s−1 did not increase leucine uptake by suspended cultures of Zoogloea ramigera. However, leucine uptake by cells fixed in a flow field of ∼ 1 mm s−1 was 55–65% greater than uptake by suspended cells. Enhanced microbial uptake with advective motion is consistent with mass transfer rates calculated using Sherwood number correlations. Advective flow increases microbial uptake by increasing collisions between substrate molecules and cells through compression of the concentration boundary layer surrounding a cell. The rate of leucine uptake suggests that binding proteins used to transport leucine into the cell can occupy approximately 1% of the cell surface area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1135-1144
Number of pages10
JournalBiotechnology and bioengineering
Issue number11
StatePublished - May 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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