1-Butanol Removal from a Contaminated Airstream under Continous and Diurnal Loading Conditions


A polysulfone microporous membrane module was investigated for control of 1-butanol-contaminated gas streams. A diurnal loading condition, using two different butanol concentrations, was used to simulate start-up and stop conditions associated with shift work. The membrane module was also used to remove 1-butanol from air under continuous loading conditions in a bioreactor. The reactors were seeded with a mixed bacterial consortium capable of butanol biodegradation. Biokinetic parameters for butanol utilization were determined for the culture to be a maximum specific utilization rate (k) equal to 4.3 d(-1) and a half saturation constant (Ks) equal to 8.9 mg L(-1). A biofilter running only with diurnal loading conditions giving a "40-hr work-week" had an average 1-butanol removal rate of 29% (111 ppm, 74 gm(-3) hr(-1)) from a 350-ppm influent at the end of an 8-hr operational day. End-of-day removal varied between 4 and 67% during the operational period. with continuous steady-state operation followed by placement on a diurnal loading schedule and influent butanol concentrations increased to 700 ppm, butanol removal averaged 38% (269 ppm, 145 gm-3 hr(-1)). under continuous loading, steady-state conditions, 1-butanol removal from the airstream was greater than 99% (200 ppm, 73 gm-3 hr(-1)). These results suggest that the bioreactor can be operated on a diurnal schedule or 40-hr week operational schedule without any decline in performance.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

1-Butanol; Polysulfone Microporous Membrane Module; Volatile Organic Compounds

Document Type

Article - Journal

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