Atmospheric environment

Performance of biotrickling filters packed with structured or cubicpolyurethane sponges for VOC removal

Chunping Yang , Guanlong Yu , Guangming Zeng , Haining Yang , Fayuan Chen , Congying Jin


Received October 08, 2010,Revised December 21, 2010, Accepted , Available online

Volume 23,2011,Pages 1325-1333

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Two identical bench-scale biotrickling filters (BTFs), BTF 1 and BTF 2, were evaluated for toluene removal at various gas empty bed contact times (EBCTs) and organic loadings. BTF 1 and BTF 2 were packed with structured and cubic synthetic polyurethane sponges, respectively. At a constant toluene loading of 16 g/(m3 hr), toluene removal efficiencies decreased from 98.8% to 64.3% for BTF 1 and from 98.4% to 74.1% for BTF 2 as gas EBCT decreased from 30 to 5 sec. When the toluene loading increased from 35 to 140 g/(m3 hr) at a gas EBCT of 30 sec, the removal efficiencies decreased from 99.1% to 77.4% for BTF 1 and from 99.0% to 81.5% for BTF 2. The pressure drop for both BTFs increased with increased air flow rate, and did not significantly vary while the toluene loading was increased under similar operation conditions. BTF 1 and BTF 2 could start up successfully within 19 and 27 days, respectively, when packed with fresh sponge media, and the performances could be restored in 3–7 days after biomass was removed and wasted from the media. BTF 2 displayed higher removal efficiency even under shorter EBCT or higher loading rate than BTF1 when other operation conditions were similar, while it showed lower pressure drop than BTF 1 during the whole period of operation. These results demonstrated that both BTFs could treat waste gas containing toluene effectively.

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