Effect of carrier size on the performance of a three-phase circulating-bed biofilm reactor for removing toluene in gas stream

Byoung In Sang, Eui Sun Yoo, Byung J. Kim, Bruce Rittmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

A series of steady-state and short-term experiments on a three-phase circulating-bed biofilm reactor (CBBR) for removing toluene from gas streams were conducted to investigate the effect of macroporous-carrier size (1-mm cubes versus 4-mm cubes, which have the same total surface area) on CBBR performance. Experimental conditions were identical, except for the carrier size. The CBBR with 1-mm carriers (the 1-mm CBBR) overcame the performance limitation observed with the CBBR with 4-mm carriers (the 4-mm CBBR): oxygen depletion inside the biofilm. The 1-mm CBBR consistently had the superior removal efficiencies of toluene and COD, higher than 93% for all, and the advantage was greatest for the highest toluene loading, 0.12 M/m2-day. The 1-mm carriers achieved superior performance by minimizing the negative effects of oxygen depletion, because they had 4.7 to 6.8 times thinner biofilm depths. The 1-mm carriers continued to provide protection from excess biomass detachment and inhibition from toluene. Finally, the 1-mm CBBR achieved volumetric removal capacities up to 300 times greater than demonstrated by other biofilters treating toluene and related volatile hydrocarbons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1121-1129
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Microbiology and Biotechnology
Volume18
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2008

Keywords

  • Biofilm
  • Carrier size
  • Circulating-bed
  • Inhibition
  • Oxygen depletion
  • Toluene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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