Asian Journal of Microbiology, Biotechnology & Environmental Sciences Paper

Vol 17, Issue 1, 2015; Page No.(61-68)

EFFECT OF CONCENTRATION, RESIDENCE TIME AND SHOCK LOAD STUDIES ON THE DEGRADATION OF TOLUENE IN A BIOFILTER WITH NOVEL FILTER MEDIA

N. RAJAMOHAN, JAMILA AL-SINANI AND V. SARAVANAN

Abstract

A laboratory scale biofilter inoculated with mixed microbial culture using tree bark as a filter media was employed for the biodegradation of toluene. The biofilter was operated in the toluene concentration range of 1.5 – 7.5 g/m3 at different flow rates namely 0.06, 0.09 and 0.12 m3/h. The maximum removal effeciency obtained was 98% at an inlet loading rate of 80 g/m3 h at an EBRT of 118 s. In the study on effect of bed height, the lowest part of the biofilter was found to remove nearly 60% of the inlet toluene load. Biomass distribution was studied through the biofilter and found to increase along with the progress of microbial degradation. Temperature increase during the biofiltration process confirmed the exothermic nature of the biochemical reaction. Carbon dioxide production rate was monitored and it varied according to the changes in inlet loading rates. Biodegradation of toluene was modeled using Michaelis-Menten type kinetics and the kinetic constants were estimated.

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