European Best Paper Winner No. 1
Mona Richter from the Agricultural Centre at BASF, Limburgerhof, was a worthy winner of one of the Best Paper Winners at the Stuttgart COMSOL Conference. Treating soil as a bioreactor, she, together with Sylvia Moenickes, Otto Richter, and Tom Schröder, looked at reaction-diffusion processes and biofilms.
They coupled fluid flow, mass transport, biochemical reactions, biofilm dynamics, and sorption, where an ordinary differential equation was solved for sorption on the soil particle boundaries. They found that the microorganism degradation was the prime factor in shaping the breakthrough behavior of organic substances at the pore scale. Further, they found that the geometry of the pore space was greatly altered by biofilm growth, and thus a significant impact on the flow field.
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