Biological treatment of n-hexane and methanol in trickle bed air biofilters under acidic conditions

Abderrahman Zehraoui, Ashraf Aly Hassan, George A. Sorial

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


This study focuses on evaluating the degradation of n-hexane/methanol mixture in trickle-bed-air-biofilters (TBABs). Two different concentration ratios of methanol:n-hexane were evaluated (3:1) for TBAB "A" and (5:1) for TBAB "B". Both TBABs were run and fed with nutrients buffered at pH 4 for encouraging the growth of fungi. The TBABs were loaded with pelletized diatomaceous earth support media and were run at an empty bed residence time of 120s. n-Hexane loading rates (LRs) ranged from 0.9 to 13.2g/m3h for both TBABs. The corresponding methanol LRs varied from 2.3 to 37.7g/m3h and from 4.6 to 64.5g/m3h for TBABs "A" and "B", respectively. Experimental results have shown that the degradation of n-hexane in presence of methanol is enhanced for n-hexane LRs less than 10.6g/m3h as compared to previous study for sole-fed n-hexane, but for n-hexane LRs of 13.2g/m3h, the performance of TBABs in eliminating n-hexane depended on the methanol to n-hexane ratios. The impact was less severe for TBAB "A" (RE 85%) as compared to TBAB "B" (RE 72%). This is attributed to the high LRs of methanol in TBAB "B". n-Hexane performance stability was another advantage attained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-135
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Biofiltration
  • Fungi
  • Methanol
  • N-Hexane
  • Trickle-bed-air-biofilters (TBABs)
  • VOCs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering


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