Effect of methanol on the biofiltration of n-hexane

Abderrahman Zehraoui, Ashraf Aly Hassan, George A. Sorial

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated the removal of recalcitrant compounds in the presence of a hydrophilic compound. n-Hexane is used as a model compound to represent hydrophobic compounds. Methanol has been introduced in mixture with n-hexane in order to increase the bioavailability of n-hexane in trickle-bed-air-biofilters (TBABs). The mixing ratios investigated were: 70% methanol:30% n-hexane, and 80% methanol:20% n-hexane by volume. n-Hexane loading rates (LRs) ranged from 0.9 to 13.2gm -3h -1. Methanol LRs varied from 4.6 to 64.5gm -3h -1 and from 2.3 to 45.2gm -3h -1 depending upon the mixing ratio used. Biofilter performance, effect of mixing ratios of methanol to n-hexane, removal profile along biofilter depth, COD/nitrogen consumption and CO 2 production were studied under continuous loading operation conditions. Results have shown that the degradation of n-hexane is significantly enhanced by the presence of methanol for n-hexane LRs less than 13.2gm -3h -1. For n-hexane LR greater than 13.2gm -3h -1, even though methanol had impacted n-hexane biodegradation, its removal efficiency was higher than our previous study for biodegradation of n-hexane alone, in presence of surfactant, or in presence of benzene. On the other hand, the degradation of methanol was not impacted by the presence of n-hexane.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-182
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Publication statusPublished - Jun 15 2012
Externally publishedYes


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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