Biofiltration of a styrene/acetone vapor mixture in two reactor types under conditions of acetone overloading

Authors

  • Jan Paca,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Chemical Technology, Department of Fermentation Chemistry and Bioengineering, Technicka 5, 166 28 Prague, Czech Republic
    • Institute of Chemical Technology, Department of Fermentation Chemistry and Bioengineering, Technicka 5, 166 28 Prague, Czech Republic.
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  • Martin Halecky,

    1. Institute of Chemical Technology, Department of Fermentation Chemistry and Bioengineering, Technicka 5, 166 28 Prague, Czech Republic
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  • Vratislav Novak,

    1. Institute of Chemical Technology, Department of Fermentation Chemistry and Bioengineering, Technicka 5, 166 28 Prague, Czech Republic
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  • Kim Jones,

    1. South Texas Environmental Institute, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Kingsville, TX 78363, USA
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  • Evguenii Kozliak

    1. University of North Dakota, Department of Chemistry, 151 Cornell St, Mail Stop 9024, Grand Forks, ND 58202, USA
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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Evaluation of the biodegradation interactions between styrene and acetone, two typical paint solvents and vapor phase pollutants differing in water solubility and biodegradability, was conducted both in a trickle bed reactor (TBR) and a biofilter (BF). The loading rate experiments were performed by increasing the acetone concentration in the inlet air while keeping the styrene concentration and loading rate constant.

RESULTS: At acetone loading rates (OLAC) between 25 and 35 gc m−3 h−1, the BF featured greater steady state performance characteristics for styrene degradation. At OLAC between 35 and 48 gc m−3 h−1, a decline of removal efficiency (RE) was observed for both pollutants, due to the system's overloading with acetone. Increasing OLAC above 52-55 gc m−3 h−1 in both reactors resulted in drifts of RE and EC over time to much lower values. A step-drop of acetone loading rate back to OLAC of 3 gc m−3 h−1 (gc denotes grams of carbon) resulted in lag periods lasting for several hours.

CONCLUSIONS: Two important issues inherent for acetone biofiltration, e.g., from paint booths or polystyrene production, were identified: (1) poor performance at high loadings of this aggressive solvent and (2) acetone back-stripping into the air following periods of high overloading. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry

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