In order to investigate characteristics of biofilm attaching firmly to carriers in the moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) used for vitamin C wastewater treatment, experiments were undertaken with instrumental analysis methods. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) micrographs of MBBR biofilms revealed that there were rod-shaped microbes and cocci in the biofilm, and microbes were embedded within medium substances and the biofilm matrix adhered firmly to carriers, leading to the formation of a smooth compacted surface at the base of the biofilm. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis revealed that extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) layer surrounded cell, sequestered inorganics to form a mixed structure, which ensured firm attachment of the biofilm to the carrier. X-ray diffraction (XRD) experiments and thermogravimetry analysis revealed that (i) the biofilm contained many inorganic substances, about 70.5%, and the inorganic substances contained multiple classes of inorganic with a high boiling point; (ii) inorganic elements such as calcium and phosphorous were selectively absorbed and accumulated in the biofilm as insoluble compounds with amorphous phases, rendering the biofilm highly resistant to detachment. Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy showed carbohydrates were the main EPS. SCANNING 35:283-291, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.