Iranian Journal of Environmental Health Science and Engineering

Effects of Operational Conditions on the Performance of Triethylamine Biofiltration


Nitrogen compounds such as triethylamine are odorants generally found in chemical plants and foundries in which cold-box cores are made. In this study, the efficiency of biofiltration of triethylamine (TEA) vapor was evaluated. Experiments were conducted in two 6-L biofilters arranged in three stages and packed with inoculated compost - wood chips (40:60v/v) as the filter medium. The seed inoculum was obtained from municipal activated sludge. Tests were made to compare effects of initial temperature (30±1°C, biofilter A) and (23±2 °C, biofilter B) on the performance of the biofilter. TEA elimination rate pattern was evaluated by changing loading rates (6-138 gm-3h-1 and hydraulic retention times (40-60 s) while operating at constant temperature and humidity at 50-55%. Results showed that organic loading rates (OLR) of up to 114.4 gm-3h-1 (biofilter A) and 90.56 gm-3h-1 (biofilter B) could be handled without any apparent indication of maximum elimination capacity and substrate inhibition. The elimination capacity of biofilters could reach up to 72 gm-3h-1 (biofilter A) and 61.5 gm-3h-1(biofilter B). When the loading of TEA exceeded the critical values, substrate inhibition occurred and the elimination capacity decreased. However, the requirement of keeping the pressure drop below 4 cm water gauge per meter of bed height to avoid operational problems warranted lower than maximum capacity operation. The optimal OLR values of 90±14 gm-3h-1 are suggested for hydraulic retention time value of 48 s and temperature of 30±1°C. Under these conditions, elimination capacity of 71±3 gm-3h-1and removal efficiency of 81±14% was achieved.

Keywords: Biofiltration , Triethylamine , Biodegradation , Air pollution

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