Removal of benzene and toluene in polyurethane biofilter immobilized with Rhodococcus sp. EH831 under transient loading

Eun Hee Lee, Hee Wook Ryu, Kyung Suk Cho

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48 Scopus citations


The performance of a polyurethane (PU) biofilter inoculated with Rhodococcus sp. EH831 was evaluated under different transient loading conditions, such as shutdown, intermittent and fluctuating loading. A mixture of benzene and toluene vapors was employed as model pollutants. When the biofilter was restarted after a 2 week-shutdown, during which neither clean air nor water was supplied, the benzene and toluene removal capacities were rapidly restored after a re-adaptation period of only 1 day. A comparison of the removal capacity under continuous and intermittent loading revealed that constant and periodic loading (8 h on/16 h off per day) and a 2 day-shutdown did not significantly influence the biofilter performance, although the removals of benzene and toluene were relatively unstable and lower under intermittent loading during the initial week. The result of quantitative real-time PCR showed that Rhodococcus sp. EH831 could be maintained during transient loading periods (1010-1011 CFU/g-dry PU) irrespective of the different operating conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5656-5663
Number of pages8
JournalBioresource Technology
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Korea Research Foundation Grant funded by the Korean Government (MOEHRD) (KRF-2006-311-D00589). Eun-Hee Lee was financially supported the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) through the Advanced Environmental Biotechnology Research Center at Pohang University of Science and Technology (R11-2003-006-06001-0), and the KOSEF NRL Program Grant funded by the Korea government (MOEHRD) (R0A-2008-000-20044-0).


  • Benzene
  • Biofilter performance
  • Rhodococcus sp.
  • Toluene
  • Transient loading


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