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Title: Biodegradation technology for VOC removal from airstreams. Phase II: determination of process design parameters and constraints.

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Erags, Sarina J

Contractor: UC Davis

Contract Number: 92-304

Research Program Area: Emissions Monitoring & Control

Topic Areas: Stationary Sources


Packed bed microbial reactors, commonly called biofilters, have been shown to be effective systems for the removal of volatile organic compounds from air streams. The objectives of the project described in this report were to: (1) determine biodegradation kinetics of systems treating low concentration aromatic and aliphatic compounds, (2) determine adsorption isotherms for selected biofilter mediums and estimate the importance of adsorption as a removal mechanism, (3) determine the spatial variation in microbial activity in biofilters, (4) determine the relationships between air mass flux and organic loading rate on process performance, and (5) determine the impact of transient loadings on process performance. In addition a mathematical model was developed for biofilter performance that includes spatially variable microbial population densities. The experimental work was carried out using laboratory scaIe biofilters having 15 cm diameters and 120 cm depth. Two packing mediums, compost and porous ceramic pellets were used. Nutrient limitations were discovered to be important factors in process performance. Removal of toluene, hexane, and dichloromethane was determined to be reaction, rather than mass transport, limited in the concentration range of approximately 3 ppmv to 200 ppmv.


For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Research Division staff at (916) 322-3893

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