Environmental Factors

In addition to the concentrations of various substrates, other environmental factors, such as temperature, pH, pressure, moisture, and salinity, can clearly affect microbial growth. These can be viewed as influencing the kinetic coefficients, such as p, Ks, Y, and b, that are used to describe growth and substrate utilization. (In fact, the observation that they vary is the reason that they have been referred to in this chapter as coefficients, rather than constants.) The effects of temperature and pH, which are usually the most important such factors in systems of interest to environmental engineers and scientists, are discussed briefly below.

Temperature As discussed in Chapter 10, microorganisms are capable of growth at a wide variety of temperatures. However, each species has a particular minimum and maximum temperature at which it can grow, and an optimum temperature within that range.

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