BACKGROUND: Biotrickling filtration could be considered as a suitable and viable technology for controlling the industrial emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in waste gases. In this study, the performance of a full-scale biotrickling system, including a passively activated carbon-smoothing prefilter was investigated for the treatment of exhaust gases from two different paint spray sources at a furniture facility.
RESULTS: The VOC profiles were uneven for both sources, but the second source was more irregular, with highly variable VOC loads. The plant was operated at empty bed residence times (EBRTs) between 20 and 100 s. The system was able to control the VOC emissions, so air treated could comply with local legal emission limits under suitable operating conditions (EBRT ∼20 s and EBRT ∼85 s for the first and the second source, respectively). Economic evaluation of the treatment, including investment amortization, showed a total cost per 10,000 m3 of treated air of around 8 € and 35 € for the first and the second sources, respectively.
CONCLUSION: The profile, type, and composition of VOC sources were shown to be crucial parameters determining the VOC removal ability and the viability of the biotrickling system. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry