Construction and economics of a pilot/full-scale biological trickling filter reactor for the removal of volatile organic compounds from polluted air.
The design and the construction of an actual 8.7-m3 pilot/full-scale biotrickling filter for waste air treatment is described and compared with a previous conceptual scale-up of a laboratory reactor. The reactor construction costs are detailed and show that about one-half of the total reactor costs ($97,000 out of $178,000) was for personnel and engineering time, whereas approximately 20% was for monitoring and control equipment. A detailed treatment cost analysis demonstrated that, for an empty bed contact time of 90 sec, the overall treatment costs (including capital charges) were as low as $8.7/1000 m3air in the case where a nonchlorinated volatile organic compound (VOC) was treated, and $14/1000 m3air for chlorinated compounds such as CH2Cl2. Comparison of these costs with conventional air pollution control techniques demonstrates excellent perspectives for more field applications of biotrickling filters. As the specific costs of building and operating biotrickling filter reactors decrease with increasing size of the reactor, the cost benefit of biotrickling filtration is expected to increase for full technical-scale bioreactors.
Deshusses, MA; Webster, TS
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