• Kim, Jung-Hoon (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Ulsan) ;
  • Rene, Eldon R. (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Ulsan) ;
  • Park, Seung-Han (Safety Environmental Technology Team, SK Corporation Ltd) ;
  • Park, Hung-Suck (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Ulsan)
  • Published : 2006.10.21


Biofiltration is a simple, effective, economically viable and the most widely used gas treatment technique for treating malodors at low concentrations and high flow rates. This paper reports the performance of two lab scale immobilized cell biofilters operated in continuous mode for hydrogen sulfide ($H_2S$) and ammonia ($NH_3$) removal. The removal efficiency (RE, %) and the elimination capacity (EC, $g/m^3{\cdot}hr$) profiles were monitored by subjecting the biofilters to different loading rates of $H_2S$ (0.3 to $8\;g/m^3{\cdot}hr$) and $NH_3$ (0.3 to $4.5\;g/m^3{\cdot}hr$). The removal efficiencies were greater than 99% when inlet loading rate to the biofilters were upto $6\;gH_2S/m^3{\cdot}hr$ and $4\;gNH_3/m^3{\cdot}hr$ respectively. The performance of the biofilters were also ascertained by conducting shock loading studies at a loading rate of $10\;gH_2S/m^3{\cdot}hr$ and $6\;gNH_3/m^3{\cdot}hr$. The results from this study show high removal efficiency, good recuperating potential and stability of the immobilized microbial consortia to transient shock loads.


  1. Yang, Y. and Allen, E. R., 'Biofiltration control of hydrogen sulphide, I: design and operational parameters,' J. Air. Waste. Manag. Assoc., 44, 863-868 (1994)
  2. Wani, A. H., Branion, R. M. R. and Lau, A. K., 'Effects of periods of starvation and fluctuating hydrogen sulfide concentration on biofilter dynamics and performance,' J. Hazard. Mat., 60, 287-303 (1998)
  3. Syed, M., Soreanu, G., Falletta, P. and Beland, M., 'Removal of hydrogen sulfide from gas streams using biological processes - A review,' Canadian Biosys. Eng., 48, 2.1-2.14 (2006)
  4. Gabriel, D. and Deshusses, M. A., 'Retrofitting existing chemical scrubbers to biotrickling filters for $H_{2}S$ emission control,' In: Proc of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America., 100, 6308-6312 (2003)
  5. Elias, A., Barona, A., Arreguy, A., Rios, J., Aranguiz, I. and Penas, J., 'Evaluation of a packing material for the biodegradation of $H_{2}S$ and product analysis,' Proc. Biochem., 37, 813-820 (2002)
  6. Rene, E. R., Murthy, D. V. S. and Swaminathan, T., 'Performance evaluation of a compost biofilter treating toluene vapours,' Proc. Biochem., 40, 2771-2779 (2005)
  7. Devinny, J. S., Deshusses, M. A. and Webster, T. S., 'Biofiltration for air pollution control,' Lewis Publishers, NY (1999)
  8. Amarsanaa, A., Shin, W. S., Choi, J-H. and Choi, S-J., 'Biofiltration of gaseous toluene using adsorbent containing polyurethane foam media,' Environ. Eng. Res., 11, 1-13 (2006)
  9. Chung, Y-C., Huang, C. and Tseng, C-P., 'Operation optimization of Thiobacillus thioparus CH11 biofilter for hydrogen sulfide removal,' J. Biotechnol., 52, 31-38 (1996)
  10. Leson, G. and Winer, A., 'Biofiltration: an innovative air pollution control technology for VOC emissions,' J. Air Waste Manage Assoc., 41, 1045-1054 (1991)
  11. Cha, J. M., Cha, W. S. and Lee, J. H., 'Removal of organosulphur odor compounds by Thiobacillus novellas SRM, sulphur-oxidizing microorganisms,' Proc. Biochem. 34, 659-665 (1999)
  12. Chung, Y-C., Huang, C., Tseng, C-P. and Pan, J. R., 'Biotreatment of $H_{2}S$ and $NH_{3}$ containing waste gases by co-immobilized cells biofilter,' Chemosphere, 41, 329-336 (2000)
  13. Chung, Y. C., Huang, C. and Tseng, C-P., 'Kinetic of hydrogen sulfide by immobilized autotrophic and heterotrophic bacteria in bioreactors,' Biotechnol. Techniques., 10, 743-748 (1996)
  14. Chung, Y., Huang, C. and Tseng, C-P., 'Removal of hydrogen sulphide by immobilized Thiobacillus sp. strain CH11 in a biofilter,' J. Chem. Technol. Biotechnol., 69, 58-62 (1997)<58::AID-JCTB660>3.0.CO;2-H
  15. Pagans, E-I., Font, X. and Sanchez, A., 'Biofiltration for ammonia removal from composting exhaust gases,' Chem. Eng. J., 113, 105-110 (2005)
  16. Ottengraf, S. P., P., 'Exhaust gas purification' In: Rehm, H. J., Reed, G., (Eds.) Biotechnology, vol. 8, VCH Verlagsgesellschaft, Weinheim, 425-452 (1986)
  17. Chen, Y-X., Yin, J. and Wang, K-X., 'Long-term operation of biofilters for biological removal of ammonia,' Chemosphere., 58, 1023-1030 (2005)
  18. Sublette, K. L. and Sylvester, N. D., 'Oxidation of hydrogen sulfide by continuous cultures of Thiobacillus denitrificans,' Biotechnol. Bioeng. 29, 753-758 (1987)