A comparative study for destruction of n-hexane in Trickle Bed Air Biofilters

Ashraf Aly Hassan, George A. Sorial

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Trickle Bed Air Biofilter (TBAB) could be an attractive treatment option for removal of hydrophobic Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from air streams. In this study, three independent parallel laboratory-scale TBABs were run simultaneously to degrade n-hexane, a hydrophobic VOC known to be difficult to degrade. The loading rate of n-hexane varied from 13.4 and 47.7g/(m3h) (1.14-4.04kg COD/(m3day)).The experimental plan was designed to operate one TBAB at pH 7, another at pH 7 utilizing surfactant for enhancing the solubility of n-hexane, and finally a third one operating at pH 4 to promote fungi growth. Elimination capacities up to 38.7g/(m3h) (3.28kg COD/(m3day)) were observed with a removal efficiency of 90% for the TBAB operating at pH 4. The operating conditions for the TBABs include 120s of Empty Bed Residence Time (EBRT), 1.4L/min air flow rate and fixed temperature of 20°C. Biomass control within the TBAB was investigated through two strategies, namely, stagnation (off flow for 2 days/week) and flow switching.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-233
Number of pages7
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Bacteria
  • Biofiltration
  • Fungi
  • Hydrophobic compound
  • N-Hexane
  • Trickle Bed Air Biofilter
  • Volatile Organic Compound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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