Bacteria generally live in an aqueous and wet environment that clearly represents an issue for air remediation. Often the decision is to dissolve pollutant in the water, which is then matter to bioremediation by the bacteria. On the other hand, there is opportunity for future improvement of a complementary solution using the fact that several species of yeast can produce aerial hyphae that may be capable to metabolize complex and compound materials straightforwardly from the air.

Various materials can be treated, comprising volatile organic carbon having compounds (VOCs) like alcohols, aldehydes or ketones and odorous substances like hydrogen sulphide and ammonia. While biotechnology is frequently thought of as something of an innovative science, the past of its use to air-borne pollution is comparatively long.

The removal of hydrogen sulphide by biological processes was first talked about as long years ago as 1920 and first patent for an actual biotech-based method of controlling odor was established in 1934. In 1960s, the true modern upsurge started with the application of the mineral soil filter media and first real biofilters were improved in the following decade. This new technology, though refined, lives in present use. The newest state-of-the-art developments have observed the advent of use of the mixed microbial cultures to destroy or degrade xenobiotics, such as, chlorinated hydrocarbons like chlorobenzene and dichloromethane.

A number of common features characterize the different approaches applied to air pollution. Typically structures run at a workable temperature in a range of 15 0C to 30 0C, in states of adequate moisture, at a pH range of 6 to 9 and with high nutrient and oxygen availability. Additionally, most of the materials which are normally treated by those processes are water soluble.

The obtainable technologies fall into three major types, namely bioscrubbers, biotrickling filters and biofilters. To understand the approaches, it is possibly most convenient to accept a view of these as biological processes for the cleansing of exhaust gases or waste. All three are able to treat a wide variety of flow rates, vary from 1000 to 100000 m3/h, therefore the selection of the most suitable technology for a given condition is based on the other standard. The concentration of the pollutant, its solubility, the easiness of process runs and the land obligation are, then, main factors.


The system of biofilters consists of a moderately large container or vessel, normally made of durable plastic, cast concrete or metal, which contains a filter medium of organic matter such as heather, peat and bark chips. The gas to be refined is forced, or drawn, throughout the filter. The medium presents soluble chemicals and good water-holding capability inside the waste gas, dissolve into the layer of moisture beside the medium. Bacteria, and many other microorganisms present, decay and degrade the elements of consequential solution, thereby producing the preferred effect. The medium these self offers physical support for microbial development, with a great surface area to the volume ratio, high in interior void spaces and loaded in nutrients to sustain and stimulate bacterial activity. Biofilters have to be dissolved in water sufficiently to preserve optimum internal setting, however, water logging is to be evaded as it brings about compaction, and consequently, reduced efficiency. Correctly maintained, biofilters can lessen odor discharge by 96% or more.

Biotrickling filters

In many respects biotrickling filters present an intermediate technology between bioscrubbers and biofilters, sharing some features of each. An engineered container holds a number of filters medium, except in this case, this is an inert objects, often slag or clinker. Being extremely resistant to compaction, it also offers a large quantity of void spaces between elements and a large surface area proportional to the whole volume of filter. The microbes form an adjoined growth biofilm on the medium surface. The scented air is once more time forced within the filter, as water simultaneously re-circulates throughout it, trickling down from the peak, hence the name. Therefore, a counter-current flow is set up between the falling water and the rising gas, which improves the effectiveness of dissolution. Process monitoring can be gained moderately simply by straightforwardly sampling the water and re-circulating within the filter container.


Although bioscrubbers are normally involved in the similar group, the bioscrubber is not itself actually a biological treatment process, but rather a greatly efficient way of removing odor elements by dissolving it. Unsurprisingly, it is most suitable for hydrophilic compounds like methanol or acetone.

About Author / Additional Info: