Bio-Scrubber Performance Equipped with Airlift Parallel Bioreactors (APB’s) for BTX Biodegradation by Wastewater Sludge

Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of Chemical Engineering, Arak Branch, Islamic Azad University, Arak, I.R. IRAN

2 Microbial Biotechnology Department, Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institute of Iran (ABRII), Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Organization (AREEO), Karaj, I.R. IRAN


A new approach in this work was the biodegradation of Benzene, Toluene, and Xylene (BTX) using Airlift Parallel Bioreactors (APB’s) connected to the Plexiglas Bio-Scrubber (PBS) Modulated with Polyurethane Foam (MPF) as modified sort in the use of mineral pumice as a porous filler Lava rock media. The aeration bioreactors were set up with a microbial consortium of refinery Sludge Effluent Sewer (SES) treatment and nutrient solution. The performance of PBS for BTX removing
by APB’s filled with
Activated Sludge Effluent Sewer (ASES) in the range of inlet BTX concentrations from 180.7 to 881.8 ppmv in different air pollutions flow rates was tried for two rates: 2.5 & 3.5 L/min  at 30 days Mean Residence Time Distribution (MRTD) for each treatment. The results showed that at inlet pollutant concentrations of [B] = 180.7 ppmv, [T] = 327.4 ppmv & [X] = 297.5 ppmv, the removal efficiency in flow rate 2.5 lit/min was 90.7, 88, and 83.6(%) for benzene, toluene, and xylene, respectively. The amount of removal in flow rate 2.5 lit/min was better than the removal efficiency of 3.5 lit/min due to lower pollution concentration.


Main Subjects

[1] Klapková E., Halecký M., Fitch M., Soccol C.R., Paca J., Impact of Biocatalyst and Moisture Content on Toluene/Xylene Mixture Bio Filtration, Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology, 49(6): 1516-8913 (2006).
[2] Yadav J.S., Reddy C.A., Degradation of Benzene, Toluene, Ethyl Benzene, and Xylenes (BTEX) by the Lignin-Degrading Basidiomycete Phanerochaete Chrysosporium, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 59(3): 756-762 (1993).‏
[3] Ashraf Aly H., George A., Sorial G.A., Removal of Benzene Under Acidic Conditions in a Controlled Trickle Bed Air Bio Filter,  Journal of Hazardous Materials, 184(1-3): 345-349 (2010).
[4] Bruno P., Caselli M., de Gennaro G., Scolletta L., Trizio L., Tutino M., Assessment of the Impact Produced by the Traffic Source on VOC Level in the Urban Area of Canoas di Puglia (Italy), Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 193(1-4): 37-50 (2008).‏
[5] Valdivia-Rivera S., Martínez-Cano A. K., Aguirre-García G., Lizardi-Jiménez M.A., Hydrocarbon Water-Pollution Related to Chronic Kidney Disease in Tierra Blanca, a Perfect Storm, Environment International, 121: 1204-1209(2018).
[6] Lizardi-Jiménez M.A., Aguirre-García G.J., Carcinogenic Hydrocarbon Pollution in Quintana Roo’s Sinkholes: Biotechnology for Remediation and Social Participation for Prevention, International Journal of Chemical Reactor Engineering, 16(10): (2018).
[7] Gonzalez-Flesca N., Nerriere E., Leclerc N., Le Meur S., Marfaing H., Hautemanière A., Zmirou-Navier D., Personal Exposure of Children and Adults to Airborne Benzene in Four French Cities, Atmospheric Environment, 41(12): 2549-2558 (2007).‏
[8] Gracy S., Hort C., Platel V., Gidas M.B., Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) Bio Filtration with Two Packing Materials, Environmental Technology, 27(9): 1053-1061 (2006).‏
[9] Liao D., Li E., Li J., Zeng P., Feng R., Xu M., Sun G., Removal of Benzene, Toluene, Xylene and Styrene by Bio Trickling Filters and Identification of Their Interactions, Plos one, 13(1): e0189927 (2018).‏
[10] Hinwood Y., Rodriguez C., Runnion T., et al., Risk Factors for Increased BTEX Exposure in Four Australian Cities, Chemosphere, 66(3): 533-41 (2007).
[11] Luo H., Zeng Y., Cheng Y., He D., Pan X., Recent Advances in Municipal Landfill Leachate: A Review Focusing on its Characteristics, Treatment, and Toxicity Assessment, Sci. Total Environ., 703: 135-468 (2020).
[13] Ghorbani Shahna F., Golbabaei F., Hamedi J., Mahjub H., Darabi H.R., Shahtaheri S.J., Treatment of Benzene, Toluene and Xylene Contaminated Air in a Bioactive Foam Emulsion Reactor, Biotechnology and Bioengineering Chinese Journal of Chemical Engineering, 18(1): 113-121 (2010).
[14] Mathur A.K., Majumder C.B, Chatterjee S., combined Removal of BTEX in Air Stream by Using Mixture of Surge Cane Bagasse, Compost and GAC as Bio Filter Media, Hazard Mater, 148: 64-74 (2007).
[15] Qian H., Cheng Y., Yang C., Wu S., Zeng G., Xi J., Performance and Biofilm Characteristics of Bio Trickling Filters for Ethyl Benzene Removal in the Presence of Saponins, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 27: 138-145 (2017).
[16] Torkaman R., Kazemian H., Soltanieh M., Removal of BTX Compounds from Waste Waters Using Template Free MFI Zeolitic Membrane, Iran. J. Chem. Chem. Eng. (IJCCE), 29(4): 91-98 (2010).
[17] Frącz P., Wotzka D., Determination of Hydrodynamic Model Based on Tracer Test Performed in WWT Plant in Kędzierzyn Koźle, Poland [dissertation], Ponzan: Poznan Univ. of Technology, 61: 1658-19735 (2016).
[18] Zhang Y., Da Y., The Decomposition of Energy-Related Carbon Emission and its Decoupling with Economic Growth in China, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 41: 1255–1266 (2015).
[19] Calvert H.T., The Eighth Report of the Royal Commission on Sewage Disposal, J. Soc. Chemical Industry, 32(6): 265-274 (1913).
[20] Schraa O., Rieger L., Alex J., Development of a Model for Activated Sludge Aeration Systems: Linking Air Supply, Distribution, and Demand, Water Sci. Technol., 75: 552-560 (2017).
[21] Youssef Z., Ducept F., Bennaceur H., Residence Time Distribution in a Biomass Pretreatment Reactor: Experimentation and Modeling, Chem. Eng. Res. Des., 125: 233-244 (2017).
[22] Collivignarelli M., Bertanza G., Abbà A., Damiani S., Troubleshooting in a Full-Scale Wastewater Treatment Plant: What Can Be Learnt from Tracer Tests, Int. J. Environ. Sci. Technol., 18: 1-12 (2018).
[23] Gopinath M., Mohanapriya C., Sivakumar K., Baskar G., Muthukumaran C., Dhanasekar R., Biodegradation of Toluene Vapor in Coir Based Upflow Packed Bed Reactor by Trichoderma Asperellum Isolate, Environ. Sci. Pollut. Res., 53(9): 0944-1344 (2015).
[24] Tec-Caamal E.N., Jiménez-González A., Medina-Moreno S.A., Lizardi-Jiménez M.A., Production of an Oil-Degrading Bacterial Consortium in an Airlift Bioreactor: Insights into the Mass Transfer of the Oil and Oxygen, Chemical Engineering Science, 192: 507-515(2018).
[25] Othman N., Kamarudin SK., Radiotracer Technology in Mixing Processes for Industrial ApplicationsSci. World J., 8: 768-604 (2014).
[27] Raboni M., Torretta V., Viotti P., Treatment of Airborne BTEX by a Two-Stage Biotrickling Filter and Biofilter, Exploiting Selected Bacterial and Fungal Consortia, International Journal of Environmental Science And Technology, 14 (1): 19-28 (2017).
[28] Pan L., Yang D., Shao L., W., Li G., Chan, Liang Z., Isolation of Oleaginous Yeasts from the Soil as Studies of Their Lipid-Producing Capacities,. Biotechnol, 47:215-220(2009).
[29] Bentifraouine C., Xuereb C., Riba J.P., An Experimental Study of the Hydrodynamic Characteristics of External Loop Airlift Contactors, Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology, 69: 345-349 (1997).
[30] Bagherniya M., Bahaeipour V., Soleimani A., Optimization of Bacterial Nano-Cellulose Production in Bench-Scale Rotating Biological Contact Bioreactor by Response Surface Methodology, Iran. J. Chem. Chem. Eng. (IJCCE), 40(2): 407-416 (2021).‏
[31] Dwivedi P., Gaur, V., Sharma A., and Verma N., Comparative Study of Removal of Volatile Organic Compounds by Cryogenic Condensation and Adsorption by Activated Carbon Fiber, Separation and Purification Technology, 39:23-37 (2004).
[32] Richardson J.F., Harker J.H., Backhurst J.R., Chemical Engineering (Particle Technology and Separator Process), Elsevier Sci., 5(2): 01801-2041 (2002).
[33] Rajamanickam R., Baskaran D., Kaliyamoorthi K., Baskaran V., Krishnan J., Steady State, Transient Behavior and Kinetic Modeling of Benzene Removal in an Aerobic Biofilter, J. Environ. Chem. Eng. 8: 103-657 (2020).
[36] Lin M., Zhao Z., Cui F., Wang Y., Xia S., Effects of Initial Chlorobenzene Concentration, Air Flowrate and Temperature on Mass Transfer of Chlorobenzene by Air Stripping. Desalin. Water Treat., 40:215–223 (2012).
[37] Nikakhtari H., Hill G.A., Hydrodynamic and Oxygen Mass Transfer in an External Loop Airlift Bioreactor with a Packed Bed, Biochemical Engineering Journal, 27: 138-145 (2005).
[38] Malfait J., Wilcox D., Mercer D., Barker L., Cultivation of a Filamentous Mold in a Glass Pilot‐Scale Airlift Fermenter, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 23: 863-877 (1981).
[39] Schlegel S., Teichgräber B., Operational Results and Experience with Submerged Fixed-Film Reactors in the Pretreatment of Industrial Effluents, Water Science and Technology, 41(4-5): 453-459 (2000).‏
[40] Schlüter S., Steiff A., Weinspach P.M., Heat Transfer in Two-and Three-Phase Bubble Column Reactors with Internals, Chemical Engineering and Processing: Process Intensification, 34: 157-172 (1995).
[41] Merchuk J.C., and Gluz M., Airlift Reactors, in the Encyclopedia of Bioprocess Technology, Environmental Engineering and Management Journal, 9(5): 681-702 (1996).
[42] Jin J. V. L. B., Doelle H., and Yu Q., The Influence of Geometry on Hydrodynamic and Mass Transfer Characteristics in an External Airlift Reactor for the Cultivation of Filamentous Fungi, World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology, 15(1): 73–79 (1999).
[43] Yang F., Bick A., Shandalov S., Brenner A., and Oron G., Yield Stress and Rheological Characteristics of Activated Sludge in an Airlift Membrane Bioreactor, Journal of Membrane Science, 334: 83-90 (2009).
[44] Hernández-Martínez  R., Valdivia-Rivera S., Betto-Sagahon J., Coreño-Alonso A., Tzintzun-Camacho O., Lizardi-Jiménez M.A., Solubilization and Removal of Petroleum Hydrocarbons by a Native Microbial Biomass in a Bubble Column Reactor, Revista Mexicana de Ingeniería Química, 18(1): 181-189(2019).
[45] Lizardi-Jiménez M.A., Leal-Bautista R. M., Ordaz A., Reyna-Velarde R., Airlift Bioreactors for Hydrocarbon Water Pollution Remediation in a Tourism Development Pole, Desalination and Water Treatment, 54(1): 44-49(2015).
[46] Bakhtiari M.K., Pourmand R., Niqab M., Golbabai F., Karimi A., Design, Manufacture and Optimization of Two-Phase Stirred Bioreactor to Remove Xylene Vapors from Air, Journal of Occupational Health and Safety, 210(3): 2 (2013).
[47] Siqueira L.C.G , De Assunção J.V, , Performance of a Bioreactor Using Organic Compound and Pall Ring Media for the Treatment of BTEX Vapor, Integrating Cleaner Production into Sustainability Strategies, 41(4-5): 453-459 (2013).
[48] Otenio M.H., Lopez da Silva M.T., Oliveira M.M.L., Roseiro J.C., Bidoia E.D., Benzene, Toluene and Xylene Biodegradation by pseudomonas-putida CCMI 852, Brazilian Journal of Microbiology, 36:258-261 (2005).
[49] Subrahmanyam C., Renken A., & Kiwi-Minsker L., Catalytic Non-Thermal Plasma Reactor for Abatement of Toluene, Chemical Engineering Journal, 160(2): 677-682 (2010).‏
[50] Othman N., Kamarudin SK., Radiotracer Technology in Mixing Processes for Industrial ApplicationsSci. World J., 8: 768-604 (2014).
[51] Jiménez L., Arriaga S., Muñoz R., Aizpuru A., Effect of Extended and Daily Short-Term Starvation/Shut-Down Events on the Performance of a Bio Filter Treating Toluene Vapors, Journal of Environmental Management, 203: 68-75 (2017).‏
[52] Sorial G.A., Smith F.L., Suidan M.T., Pandit A., Biswas, P., Brenner, R.C., Evaluation of Trickle Bed Air Bio Filter Performance for BTX Removal, Journal of Environmental Engineering, 123: 530–537 (1997).
[53] Sun R.B., Xi Z.G., Chao F.H., Zhang W., Zhang H.S., Yang D.F., Decomposition of Low Concentration Gas-Phase Toluene Using Plasma-Driven Photo Catalyst Reactor, Atmospheric Environment, 41: 6853-6859 (2007).
[54] Climent F., Pardo, A., Decoupling Factors on the Energy-Output Linkage, The Spanish case. Energy Policy, 35(1): 522–528 (2007).
[55] Veeresh G.S., Kumar P. and Mehrotra I., Treatment of BTX and Cresols in Up Flow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket (UASB) Process: A Review, Water Research, 39(1): 154-170 (2011).
[56] Halecký M., Fitch M., Soccol C. R.,  Paca J., Impact of Biocatalyst and Moisture Content on Toluene/Xylene Mixture Bio Filtration, Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology, 49(2): 347-352 (2006).‏
[57] Baskaran S., Detchanmurthy S., Studies on the Influence of Various Metabolic Uncouples on the Biodegradation Rate of Toluene in a Bio Filter Reactor, Iran. J. Chem. Chem. Eng. (IJCCE), 39(2): 289-297 (2020).
[58] Pandey R.A., joshi P.R., Midliar S.N., Deshmukh S.C., Biological Treatment of Waste Gas Containing Mixture of Monochlorobenzene (MCB) and Benzene in a Bench Scale Bio Filter, Bio Resource Technology, 101: 5168–5174 (2010).
[59] Jianwei L., Chen L., Lihua H., Jianbin S., Peng Y., Xueli L., Xinyue K., Performance and Economic Analyses of a Combined Bioreactor for Treating Odors, Volatile Organic Compounds, and Aerosols from A Landfill Site, Journal of Cleaner Production, 278: 124-161 (2020).
[60] Medina-Moreno S.A., Jiménez-González A., Gutiérrez-Rojas M., Lizardi-Jiménez M.A., Hydrocarbon Pollution Studies of Underwater Sinkholes Along Quintana Roo as a Function of Tourism Development in the Mexican Caribbean,  Revista Mexicana de Ingeniería Química, 13: 509-516 (2014).
[61] Tzintzun-Camacho O., Torres-Martinez D., Gutiérrez-Rojas M., Lizardi-Jiménez M.A., Gas Hold Up on the Cultivation of an Oil- Degrading Bacterial Consortium, Environmental Engineering and Management Journal In Press, 39(2): 675-912 (2014).
[62] Maroto-Arroyo M.E., Rogel-Quesada J.M., Aplicación de Sistemas de Biorremediación de Suelos y Aguas Contaminadas Por Hidrocarburos, Geocisa. Div., Protección Ambiental de Suelos, 789: 297-305 (2002).