Published: CABEQ 22 (2) (2008) 179–184
Paper type: Original Scientific Paper

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Effects of Inoculum Type, Packing Material and Operating Conditions on Pentane Biofiltration

I. Ortiz, I. García-Peña, P. Christen and S. Revah

Biofilters are an interesting alternative to treat airstreams polluted with gaseous alkanes from industrial activities. These hydrophobic compounds are difficult to treat by bacterial communities which are generally used in biofiltration. In this work, four fungal populations (3 consortia and Fusarium solani) were used as inocula in biofilters for treating pentane and hexane. The biofilters were packed with inorganic and organic materials (perlite and peat) and operated with the periodic addition of mineral medium at pH 4 supplemented with antibacterial agents to favor the development of fungi. To reduce the lag phase, the biofilters were inoculated with active mycelia. Lower performance was obtained with the peat biofilters. Sustained 100 % removal efficiencies were obtained with biofilters at an operation pentane load of G = 32.9 ± 8.1 g m–3 h–1. Maximum elimination capacity of Cmax = 100 g m–3 h–1 was obtained with one of the fungal consortia; this value is higher than those usually reported for pentane degrading bacterial biofilters.

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Fungal biofiltration, alkane, pentane, hexane, air pollution