Chapter Overview

About This Chapter

Contributing Author:  Alfred Cunningham

Many industries encounter pesky biofilms that plague their manufacturing processes and/or foul their products. It is estimated that biofilms cause industry literally billions of dollars a year in lost production and treatment.  As is true with biofilms in any environment, it is important to recognize when problems are the result of a biofilm, as their treatment will differ accordingly.  This chapter discusses these issues. (In first draft form).

This chapter provides an overview of the importance of microbial biofilms in industrial environments. It will become clear that a wide variety of systems and processes are profoundly affected by biofilms. Part 1 of his chapter focuses on summarizing the scope of industrial interest along with identifying key biofilm-related questions and concerns which many industrial practitioners have in common. Part 2 provides detailed treatment of 3 specific examples of industrial biofilm scenarios:

  1. Membrane fouling
  2. Pathogens in drinking water
  3. Biofilm barriers for treating groundwater contaminants.