Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 69–74 | Cite as

Biological waste gas treatment with a modified rotating biological contactor. Ι. Control of biofilm growth and long-term performance

  • I. Vinage
  • P. Rudolf von RohrEmail author
Original Paper


In this work, we introduce a modified rotating biological contactor (RBC) system and demonstrate its feasibility by applying the newly devised process to the biological treatment of artificial waste gas. In the proposed system, the waste gas is introduced to the bioreactor in the spacings between the rotating discs through a hollow shaft, thus allowing for intimate gas–liquid contact. A 91-l modified RBC containing 20 biofilm support discs 40 cm in diameter was used in the experiments. Toluene was used as the model pollutant, and the system was operated under standard operating conditions for more than one year in order to investigate its long-term performance and assess its ability to control the growth of the biofilm. It was demonstrated that the proposed system allows to efficiently control the growth of the biofilm, thus overcoming the clogging problem inherent in most conventional methods for the biological treatment of waste gas. Moreover, the system was shown to exhibit stationary long-term performance for a period of more than one year, hence indicating its feasibility for industrial application.


Rotating biological contactor Biofilm Shear stress Toluene 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Process EngineeringETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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