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Biofilm-Induced Mineralization in Pore Flow

Prof. Isaac Klapper

Department of Mathematics, Temple University, Philadelphia

Outside of a sterile lab environment, porous media generallyhost large microbial communities. However, the familiar view of microbes as swimmers in a free (planktonic) state is not the norm; rather it is believed that much of the microbial biomass, perhaps even as much as 95-99% terrestrially, is located in close-knit communities, designated biofilms and microbial mats, consisting of large numbers of organisms living as viscoelastic fluids within self-secreted matrices constructed of polymers and other molecules. As such, one might expect to see significant impact on hydrodynamical properties. These issues are discussed in the context of a particular phenomenon, namely engineered mineralization in pore flow resulting from biological activity in biofilms.