Development and validation of a simple protocol to rapidly determine the performance of biofilters for VOC treatment


Journal Article

A protocol has been developed for the rapid determination of complete elimination characteristics of target pollutants in waste air biofilters. The protocol involves the determination of two pollutant concentration profiles along the height of a three-segment biofilter under carefully chosen conditions. The combination of the data results in 12 points on the elimination capacity vs load curve which is sufficient to fully characterize a system. The protocol conditions were chosen to enable characterization of biofiltration systems with VOC elimination capacities ranging from 20 to 120 g m-3 h-1. The protocol was then applied to 18 different VOCs, and the results compared well with previously published data, when available. Maximum removal performance of classes of compounds in the biofilter followed the sequence alcohols > esters > ketones > aromatics > alkanes. An attempt was made to correlate the pollutant elimination with Henry's coefficient, and the octanol/water partition coefficient and trends were obtained. The results suggest that biodegradation of VOCs in biofilters is influenced both by the pollutant availability (Henry's Law coefficient) and to a lesser extent by the hydrophobicity of the treated compounds (octanol/water partition).

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Deshusses, MA; Johnson, CT

Published Date

  • February 1, 2000

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 34 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 461 - 467

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0013-936X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1021/es9909172

Citation Source

  • Scopus