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Introduction and Background

As with any subject, the study of the biochemical operations used in wastewater treatment systems requires an understanding of the terminology used. The purpose of Chapter 1 is to provide that understanding by defining the nature of biochemical operations in terms of the biochemical transformation being performed, the environment in which the transformation is occurring, and the reactor configuration employed. Engineering design is greatly facilitated by application of mathematical models to quantitatively describe system performance. Construction of such models for biochemical operations must be based on a fundamental understanding of the microbiological events occurring in them. Chapter 2 provides that understanding, as well as an appreciation of the complex interactions occurring among the microorganisms that form the ecosystems in the operations. That appreciation is crucial to recognition of the simplified nature of the models, thereby encouraging their appropriate usage. Finally, construction of the models requires knowledge of the stoichi-ometry and kinetics of the major reactions occurring in biochemical operations. Chapter 3 provides that knowledge.

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