Modeling biofiltration of VOC mixtures under steady-state conditions

Basil C. Baltzis, Steven M. Wojdyla, Shareefdeen M. Zarook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Treatment of air streams contaminated with binary volatile organic compound (VOC) mixtures in classical biofilters under steady-state conditions of operation was described with a general mathematical model. The model accounts for potential kinetic interactions among the pollutants, effects of oxygen availability on biodegradation, and biomass diversification in the filter bed. While the effects of oxygen were always taken into account, two distinct cases were considered for the experimental model validation. The first involves kinetic interactions, but no biomass differentiation, used for describing data from biofiltration of benzene/toluene mixtures. The second case assumes that each pollutant is treated by a different type of biomass. Each biomass type is assumed to form separate patches of biofilm on the solid packing material, thus kinetic interference does not occur. This model was used for describing biofiltration of ethanol/butanol mixtures. Experiments were performed with classical biofilters packed with mixtures of peat moss and perlite (2:3, volume:volume). The model equations were solved through the use of computer codes based on the fourth-order Runge-Kutta technique for the gas-phase mass balances and the method of orthogonal collocation for the concentration profiles in the biofilms. Good agreement between model predictions and experimental data was found in almost all cases. Oxygen was found to be extremely important in the case of polar VOCs (ethanol/butanol).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number13245
Pages (from-to)599-605
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Environmental Engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Environmental Science
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Modeling biofiltration of VOC mixtures under steady-state conditions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this