Bioprocess Engineering

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 83–92 | Cite as

Dichloromethane removal from waste gases with a trickle-bed bioreactor

  • S. Hartmans
  • J. Tramper


A 66 dm3 trickle-bed bioreactor was constructed to assess the possibilities of eliminating dichloromethane from industrial waste gases. The trickle-bed bioreactor was filled with a randomly-stacked polypropylene packing material over which a liquid phase was circulated. The pH of the circulating liquid was externally controlled at a value of 7 and the temperature was maintained at 25 °C. The packing material was very quickly covered by a dichloromethane-degrading biofilm which thrived on the dichloromethane supplied via the gas phase. The biological system was very stable and not sensitive to fluctuations in the dichloromethane supply. Removal of dichloromethane from synthetic waste gas was possible down to concentrations well below the maximal allowable concentration of 150mg/m3 required by West-German law for gaseous emissions. At higher dichloromethane concentrations specific dichloromethane degradation rates of 200 g h−1 m−3 were possible. At very low inlet concentrations, dichloromethane elimination was completely mass transfer limited.

The gas-phase mixing could be described by a series of 10 to 7 identical ideally-mixed tanks for superficial gas velocities ranging from 150 to 450 m/h. Dichloromethane elimination with the tricklebed bioreactor was modelled using an overall mass-transfer coefficient that was dependent on the gas and liquid velocities. Masstransfer resistance within the biofilm was also accounted for. Using the model, elimination efficiencies were predicted which were very close to the experimentally observed values.


Dichloromethane Packing Material Liquid Velocity Inlet Concentration Maximal Allowable Concentration 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Hartmans
    • 1
  • J. Tramper
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Food Science Food and Bioprocess Engineering GroupWageningen Agricultural UniversityThe Netherlands

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