An experimental and modeling study on the removal of mono-chlorobenzene vapor in biotrickling filters

Christos J. Mpanias, Basil C. Baltzis

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Removal of mono-chlorobenzene (m-CB) vapor from airstreams was studied in a biotrickling filter (BTF) operating under counter-current flow of the air and liquid streams. Experiments were performed under various values of inlet m-CB concentration, air and/or liquid volumetric flow rates, and pH of the recirculating liquid. Conversion of m-CB was never below 70% and at low concentrations exceeded 90%. A maximum removal rate of about 60 gm-3- reactor h-1 was observed. Conversion of m-CB was found to increase as the values of liquid and air flow rate increase and decrease, respectively. The effects of pH and frequency of medium replenishment on BTF performance were also investigated. The process was successfully described with a detailed mathematical model, which accounts for mass transfer and kinetic effects based on m-CB and oxygen availability. Solution of the model equations yielded m-CB and oxygen concentration profiles in all three phases (airstream, liquid, biofilm). It is predicted that oxygen has a controling effect on the process at high inlet m-CB concentrations. From independent, suspended culture, experiments it was found that m-CB biodegradation follows Andrews inhibitory kinetics. The kinetic constants were found to remain practically unchanged after the culture was used in BTF experiments for 8 months.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)328-343
Number of pages16
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 5 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


  • Biodegradation kinetics of monochlorobenzene
  • Biofiltration
  • Biotrickling filter modeling
  • Biotrickling filters
  • Chlorinated VOC emissions
  • Mono- chlorobenzene


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