Comparative studies on toluene removal and pressure drop in biofilters using different packing materials

Hee Wook Ryu, So Jung Kim, Kyung Suk Cho

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14 Scopus citations


To select the best available packing material for malodorous organic gases such as toluene and benzene, biofilter performance was compared in biofilters employed different packing materials including porous ceramic (celite), Jeju scoria (lava), a mixture of granular activated carbon (GAC) and celite (GAC/celite), and cubic polyurethane foam (PU). Atoluene-degrading bacterium, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia T3-c, was used as the inoculum. The maximum elimination capacities in the celite, lava, and GAC/celite biofilters were 100, 130, and 110g m-3hr-1 respectively. The elimination capacity for the PU biofilter was approximately 350 g m-3hr -1 at an inlet loading of approximately 430g m-3hr -1, which was 2 to 3.5 times higher than for the other biofilters. The pressure drop gradually increased in the GAC/ celite, celite and lava biofilters after 23 day due to bacterial over-growth, and the toluene removal efficiency remarkably decreased with increasing pressure drop. Backwashing method was not effective for the control of biomass in these biofilters. In the PU biofilter, however, backwashing allowed maintenance of a pressure drop of 1 to 3 mm H2Om-1 and a removal efficiency of> 80%, indicating that the PU was the best packing material for toluene removal among the packing materials tested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-318
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Environmental Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2010


  • Biofilter
  • Clogging
  • Packing material
  • Pressure drop
  • Stenotrophomonas maltophilia
  • Toluene


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