Toluene degradation in a polyurethane biofilter at high loading

Hee Wook Ryu, So Jong Kim, Kyung Suk Cho, Tae Ho Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


In the present study, toluene elimination in the polyurethane (PU) biofilter during long-term (145 day) operation was characterized, and assessed the effects of changing the inlet loading and space velocity (SV). A very high elimination capacity of 3.7 kg·m-3·h-1 was obtained at an inlet loading of 4.0 kg·m-3·h-1 (inlet toluene concentration of 900 ppmv at a SV of 1,040 h-1). Backwashing with irrigation and compressed air allowed maintenance of a pressure drop of < 80 mm H2O·m-1-filter at an SV of 830 h-1 and an elimination efficiency of > 90% during the 145 day of operation. In conclusion, the PU biofilter can overcome the problems of clogging caused by excess biomass growth and of low treatment capacities of conventional biofilters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-365
Number of pages6
JournalBiotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2008


  • Biofilter
  • Clogging
  • High loading
  • Polyurethane
  • Stenotrophomonas maltophilia
  • Toluene


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