Thermophilic biofiltration of benzene and toluene

Kyung Suk Cho, Sun Kyung Yoo, Hee Wook Ryu

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28 Scopus citations


In the current studies, we characterized the degradation of a hot mixture of benzene and toluene (BT) gases by a thermophilic biofilter using polyurethane as a packing material and high-temperature compost as a microbial source. We also examined the effect of supplementing the biofilter with yeast extract (YE). We found that YE substantially enhanced microbial activity in the thermophilic biofilter. The degrading activity of the biofilter supplied with YE was stable during long-term operation (approximately 100 d) without accumulating excess biomass. The maximum elimination capacity (1,650 g·m-3·h-1) in the biofilter supplemented with YE was 3.5 times higher than that in the biofilter without YE (470 g·m-3·h-1). At similar retention times, the capacity to eliminate BT for the YE-supplemented biofilter was higher than for previously reported mesophilic biofilters. Thus, thermophilic biofiltration can be used to degrade hydrophobic compounds such as a BT mixture. Finally, 16S rDNA polymerase chain reaction-DGGE (PCR-DGGE) fingerprinting revealed that the thermophilic bacteria in the biofilter included Rubrobacter sp. and Mycobacterium sp.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1976-1982
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • Benzene
  • Mesophilic biofilter
  • Thermophilic bacteria
  • Thermophilic biofilter
  • Toluene
  • Yeast extract


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