Modeling of air stripping from volatile organic compounds in biological treatment processes

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The removal of volatile organic compounds from biological treatment processes occurs through several mechanisms. These include biodegradation, adsorption onto solids, and air stripping or volatilization to the atmosphere. Volatilization results in fugitive emissions to the atmosphere, which is largely uncontrolled. Recent regulations have called for increased evaluation and control of inadvertent volatile organic compounds emissions from treatment processes. The use oxygen as a parallel volatile compound is extremely useful for prediction of volatile organic compounds removal by air stripping. In this study, the simultaneous biodegradation and air stripping of volatile organic compounds, based on steady state mass balance are examined and a general approach to estimating the dominant removal mechanism is developed. A Monte Carlo simulation technique was used to estimate air stripping over a wide range of operating conditions. Several volatile organic compounds were selected for this study. The results showed the values drived from the model correspond with the experimental data for benzene, toluene, methylene chloride, trichloroethylene, and methyl isobutyl ketone.

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