Bioprocess Engineering

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 253–259 | Cite as

Gaseous CAH removal by biofiltration in presence and absence of a nonionic surfactant

  • J. O. Kim
  • P. K. TerKonda
  • S. D. Lee


The objectives of this study were to investigate the biodegradation of gaseous trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE) in an activated carbon biofilter inoculated with phenol-oxidizing microorganisms and to study the effect of surfactant concentration below its critical micelle concentration (CMC) on the removal efficiency of TCE or PCE. For the enhanced biofiltration, a biodegradable nonionic surfactant was added to biofilters. The investigation was conducted using two specially built stainless steel biofilters, one for TCE and the other for PCE.

The removal efficiency of gaseous TCE was 100% at a residence time of 7 min and its average inlet concentration of 85 ppm. For gaseous PCE, 100% removal efficiency was obtained at residence times of 4–7 min and its average concentrations of 47–84 ppm. It was found that adsorption by GAC and absorption by influent nutrient solution were a minor or negligible mechanism for TCE and PCE removal in the activated carbon biofilters. The TCE and PCE activated carbon biofilter performances were observed to be a little enhanced but not significantly, when the surfactant was introduced at concentrations of 5–50 mg/l. Surfactant concentrations of 5–15 mg/l were found to be an optimal dosage in the biofilter operation for avoiding significant residual in the effluent from biofilters.


Surfactant Stainless Steel Biodegradation Activate Carbon Removal Efficiency 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. O. Kim
    • 1
  • P. K. TerKonda
    • 2
  • S. D. Lee
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Engineering Education, Mokpo National University, Chungkye-Myon, Muan-Kun, Chonnam 534-729, South Korea e-mail:
  2. 2.Department of Civil Engineering, University of Missouri-Rolla, Rolla, MO 65401, USAUS
  3. 3.Department of Environmental Engineering Mokpo National University, Chungkye-Myon, Muan-Kun, Chonnam 534-729, South KoreaKR

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