Removal of a mixture of formaldehyde and methanol vapors in biotrickling filters under mesophilic and thermophilic conditions: Potential application in ethanol production

Mitham Al-Faliti, Bruce Dvorak, Ashraf Aly Hassan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Ethanol is a significant source of energy as a biofuel, however, its production using corn involves the generation of harmful emissions from both fermentation tanks and dryers. Scrubbers control the emissions from fermentation tanks, while the emissions from the dryers are controlled by regenerative thermal oxidizers. Potential alternatives to these energy- and water-intensive technologies are biotrickling filters (BTF). Two BTF were operated in parallel to treat formaldehyde and methanol emissions in a volumetric ratio of 4:1, one at 25°C (mesophilic), and the other at 60°C (thermophilic). The mesophilic BTF simulated emissions from fermentation tanks, while the thermophilic BTF simulated emissions from dryers. Both beds were operated at an empty bed residence time of 30s and influent formaldehyde concentrations of 20, 50, and 100 ppm/volume (ppmv). BTF have removed formaldehyde at typical ethanol plants emissions ~21 ppmv. The BTF technology have the potential in replacing the conventional air treatment methods used at ethanol plants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)602-616
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the Air and Waste Management Association
Volume72
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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