Biofilm growth and hydrodynamic behaviour in the biological plate tower (BPT) with and without hanging biomass (BPT-HB)
Water Science and Technology
Deodorization and volatile organic compound abatement from polluted air streams can be accomplished with the biological plate tower (BPT), which has proved to be a reliable alternative to biofilters and biotrickling filters. Unlike those, the BPT is a non-clogging device, with constant active surface, and steady performance, making it ideal for scale-up and modelling. The initial BPT design needed improvement for better performance. The cylindrical body (circular plates) was replaced by a
... gular cuboid (rectangular plates). Holes in the plates did augment the amount of active biomass (hanging from the holes and under the plates), without reducing the transfer of toluene from the gaseous to the liquid phase. The diminished distance between plates was well tolerated in cocurrent flow, allowing much higher quantities of biomass in the same reactor volume. With 18 and 14 mm spacing between adjacent plates, the BPT, with and without holes, was tested for flooding, holdup and pressure drop. Several gas and liquid flows were tested, both in co-current and countercurrent. In hydrodynamic terms, the BPT-HB with co-current flow was clearly the best option. Higher stability with higher flow rates, and lower pressure drops were observed. The inoculum was obtained from wastewater plant activated sludge (petrochemical industry).