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Factors affecting the elimination capacity of a passive methane biofilter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionProfessional


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBioTechniques Ghent 2015 The 6th international conference on biotechniques for air pollution control
Subtitle of host publicationConference Proceedings
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication typeD3 Professional conference proceedings
EventBioTechniques Ghent 2015, The 6th international conference on biotechniques for air pollution control - Music Centrum Bijloke, Ghent, Belgium
Duration: 2 Sep 20154 Sep 2015


ConferenceBioTechniques Ghent 2015, The 6th international conference on biotechniques for air pollution control


Passive biofilters are used for controlling CH4 emissions from different sources with the help of methanotrophic bacteria. The CH4 elimination capacity of a biofilter can be affected by different factors, such as the structure and composition of the filter material and formation of bacterial exopolymeric saccharides (EPS). Recognising these factors and resolving their effect on the elimination capacity is important for efficient greenhouse gas emission control. Hence, we studied the evolution of the elimination capacity of a passive CH4 biofilter containing soil as low-cost filter material. We aimed at identifying the factors affecting the elimination capacity and tested the effectiveness of a mechanical regeneration method for improving the operation efficiency. A laboratory-scale biofilter containing landfill soil was operated for 148 days. The CH4 removal efficiency reached 70 % in the beginning of the operation (0–7 days), but stabilised at 25 % after 50 days. The filter bed was mixed and loosened twice during the operation. As a result, the glucose content of the soil representing the clogging agent secreted by bacteria (EPS) remained stable throughout the experiment (23 mg gdw-1) and O2 penetrated deeper in the filter bed indicating improved gas diffusion. However, the CH4 removal efficiency did not increase from 25–30 %. The reason for this remained unknown, but the results indicated that soil as filter material was able to maintain its elimination capacity despite the formation of EPS. Mixing was shown to be an effective and necessary method for improving the gas diffusion properties of the filter bed.


  • Methane, Biofiltration, Passive operation, Landfill soil

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