PRD Tech, Inc.

Review of Biofiltration - Effect of Support Media on Biofilter Performance

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Technologies for removal of hazardous pollutants from air have gained increased importance following the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA). Biofiltration is an emerging and attractive technology for the removal of volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) present at low concentrations in air. Traditional VOC removal technologies involve physical or chemical processes such as adsorption, condensation, thermal incineration or catalytic conversion, etc. Compared to these technologies, biofiltration is cheap and reliable. More importantly, biodegradable VOCs can be degraded to non-hazardous products such as carbon dioxide and water without the generation of other secondary wastes. It can be applied to any biodegradable VOCs emission problem - from manufacturing and processing units, wastewater and landfill leachate treatment plants and soil remediation operations such as vacuum extraction.

However, since biofiltration is an emerging technology, fundamental knowledge regarding the mechanisms that affect biofilter performance is limited. Though a wide range of biofilter support media have been used for biofiltration of VOCs and other air pollutants, the effect of support media has not been systematically studied. The objective of this study is to provide a brief overview of the current status of VOC biofiltration, with a focus on the effect of support media.

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