A comparative study of the effect of compost/woodchips mixture, natural zeolite and zeolite/activated carbon mixture as packing materials on the biofilter performance

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Chemical Engineering Department, University of Sistan and Baluchestan, Zahedan, Iran

2 Chemical Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, University of Sistan and Baluchestan

3 Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Sistan and Baluchestan, Zahedan, Iran

4 Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Sistan and Baluchestan, Zahedan, Iran


The removal of formaldehyde from contaminated air was investigated via three laboratory-scale biofilters packed with different materials: a mixture of compost and woodchips (І), the natural clinoptilolite zeolite particles in the original form (II), and the mixture of zeolite/activated carbon (III). The biofilters were inoculated using aerobic sludge. The average removal efficiencies of 97.5%, 90%, and 93.5% were obtained at a 100 s empty bed residence time (EBRT) and 20 mg/m3 inlet concentration of formaldehyde for the biofilter of configurations І, II, and III, respectively. Also, the performance of the reactors was investigated at different EBRTs of 20, 30, 60, and 100 s, and the maximum elimination capacity of 2840 mg/m3.h was achieved at the lowest EBRT (20 s) for the biofilter of configuration II. Increasing the inlet formaldehyde concentration from 20 mg/m3 to 80 mg/m3 led to the maximum formaldehyde removal efficiency of 82% for the biofilter of configuration III. Therefore, a comparison of the results of the biofilters' performances showed that the biofilter of configuration III had the best performance, which was validated by obtaining a higher mass transfer coefficient. However, the biofilter of configurations II and III achieved steady-state conditions in a shorter time.


Main Subjects

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