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BIOFILTRATION OF GASEOUS TOLUENE USING ADSORBENT CONTAINING POLYURETHANE FOAM MEDIA

Amarsanaa, Altangerel;Shin, Won-Sik;Choi, Jeong-Hak;Choi, Sang-June

  • Published : 2006.02.28

Abstract

In this study, conventional biofilters packed with flexible synthetic polyurethane (PU) foam carriers were operated to remove toluene from a contaminated air stream. PU foams containing various adsorbents (e.g., zeolite, sepiolite, dolomite and barite) were synthesized for the biofilter media and their adsorption characteristics of toluene were determined. Adsorption capacity of PU-adsorbent foam was in the order of PU-dolomite ${\approx}$ PU-zeolite > PU-sepiolite > PU-barite. During the biofiltration experiment, influent toluene concentration was in the range of 0-160 ppm and EBRT (i.e., empty bed residence time) was 45 seconds. Pressure drop of the biofilter bed was 4-5 mm $H_2O/m$ column height. The maximum removal capacity was in the order of PU-dolomite > PU-zeolite > PU-sepiolite > PU-barite, while the complete removal capacity was in the order of PU-dolomite > PU-sepiolite > PU-zeolite > PU-barite. The better biofiltration performance in PU-dolomite foam was because PU-dolomite foam had lower density and higher porosity than the others providing favorable conditions for microbial growth. The results of biodegradation kinetic analysis showed that PU-dolomite foam had higher maximum removal rate ($V_m\;=\;11.04\;g$ toluene/kg dry material/day) and saturation constant ($K_s\;=\;26.57\;ppm$) than the other PU foams. This supports that PU-dolomite foam was better than the others for biofilteration of toluene.

Keywords

Adsorbent;Biodegradation Kinetics;Biofiltration;Polyurethane foam;Sorption;Toluene

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