Thermophilic biotrickling filtration of ethanol vapors.
The treatment of ethanol vapors in biotrickling filters for air pollution control was investigated. Two reactors were operated in parallel, one at ambient temperature (22 degrees C) and one at high temperature (53 degrees C). After a short adaptation phase, the removal of ethanol was similar in both reactors. At a bed contact time of 57 s, the elimination capacity exceeded 220 g m(-3) h(-1) at both temperatures. The experiments performed revealed that the process was most likely limited by biodegradation in the biofilm. The high-temperature biotrickling filter exhibited a higher degree of ethanol mineralization to CO2 (60 vs 46% at ambient temperature); hence, a lower rate of biomass accumulation was observed. Plating and cultivation of biofilm samples revealed that the high-temperature biotrickling filter hosted a process culture composed of both mesophilic and thermotolerant or thermophilic microorganisms, whereas the ambient-temperature reactor lacked microorganisms capable of growing at high temperature. Consequently, the performance of the control biotrickling filter was significantly affected by a short incursion at 53 degrees C. The upper temperature limit for treatment was 62 degrees C. Overall, the results of this study open new possibilities for biotrickling filtration of hot gases.
Cox, HH; Sexton, T; Shareefdeen, ZM; Deshusses, MA
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