Biofiltration of volatile pollutants: Engineering mechanisms for improved design, long-term operation, prediction, and implementation. 1997 annual progress report

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'Biofiltration systems can be used to treat volatile organic compounds (VOCs); however, the systems are poorly understood and are currently operated as black boxes. Common operational problems associated with biofilters include fouling, deactivation, and overgrowth, all of which make biofilters ineffective for continuous, long-term use. The objective of this investigation is to develop generic methods for long-term stable operation, in particular by using selective limitation of supplemental nutrients while maintaining high activity and the ability to regenerate biofilter activity. As part of this effort, the authors will provide a deeper fundamental understanding of the important biological and transport mechanisms in ... continued below

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6 pages

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Davison, B.H.; Klasson, K.T. & Barton, J.W. September 1, 1997.

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'Biofiltration systems can be used to treat volatile organic compounds (VOCs); however, the systems are poorly understood and are currently operated as black boxes. Common operational problems associated with biofilters include fouling, deactivation, and overgrowth, all of which make biofilters ineffective for continuous, long-term use. The objective of this investigation is to develop generic methods for long-term stable operation, in particular by using selective limitation of supplemental nutrients while maintaining high activity and the ability to regenerate biofilter activity. As part of this effort, the authors will provide a deeper fundamental understanding of the important biological and transport mechanisms in biodestruction of sparingly soluble VOCs and will extend this engineering approach and developed mathematical models to two additional systems of high-priority environmental management (EM) relevance-direct degradation and cometabolic degradation of priority pollutants such as BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene) and TCE (trichioroethylene), respectively. Preliminary results indicate that the author can control overgrowth of the biofilm while sustaining high degradation rates and develop basic predictive models that elucidate mass transfer and kinetic limitations in this system for alkanes. The alkanes are degraded into CO, and waterwith minimal biomass (due to the methodology proposed). This system will be used to test and model additional supplemental nutrient feeding strategies as well as methods to increase the fundamental driving forces by modification of the system. Models will be extended to non-steady-state, long-term operation. The author will examine the nature of the mixed microbial community in the VOC-degrading biofilm and test for new degradative activities. He will use cosolvents with surfactant properties to enhance hydrocarbon solubility in the biofilm and evaluate their impact on mass transfer and reaction rate in an operating biofilter. These results will point to further potential improvements in systems of EM priority. Constructed and acclimated three trickling-bed biofilters. Measured kinetic activity and mass transfer in biofilters under study. Demonstrated extended activity of biofilters in absence of supplemental nutrient. Quantified filter regeneration after prolonged starvation. Demonstrated competence of microbial consortium for degrading a variety of C, to C, alkanes as sole carbon and energy sources. Demonstrated competence of microbial consortium for degrading chlorinated alkane as sole carbon and energy sources. Examined solubility enhancement agents. Completed mathematical modeling of biofilm diffusion, reaction, and mass transfer effects for simple cases.'

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6 pages

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  • Other: DE00013495
  • Report No.: EMSP-55013--97
  • Grant Number: NONE
  • DOI: 10.2172/13495 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 13495
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc618670

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • September 1, 1997

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • June 13, 2016, 4:23 p.m.

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Davison, B.H.; Klasson, K.T. & Barton, J.W. Biofiltration of volatile pollutants: Engineering mechanisms for improved design, long-term operation, prediction, and implementation. 1997 annual progress report, report, September 1, 1997; Tennessee. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc618670/: accessed April 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.