Concluding Remarks

As pointed out here, biofiltration has become by now a well-recognized technology for the control of odors and the elimination of air contaminants from waste gases, and represents a new generation of air pollution control technologies.

Over the past two decades, thanks to the considerable progress made in the microbiological and process-engineering fields, biofiltration has gained the confidence of many of industries and has found increasingly widespread application. The suitability of this technique for the treatment of a wide range of inorganic and organic pollutants has been proven. Removal efficiencies as high as 90% or more are usually achieved for common pollutants, such as alcohols, ethers, aldehydes, ketones, and monoaromatic volatile chemicals.

The operating cost savings, the technological simplicity of the plants, the reduced maintenance and energy requirements, and the minimal generation of by-products that must be disposed of, make biofiltration, with respect to other air pollution control technologies, an attractive cost-effective alternative, particularly if applied to large volumes of gaseous-waste streams containing readily biodegradable contaminants in relatively low concentrations.

Although its application to different compounds has been demonstrated, considerable research is being undertaken to find appropriate strains able to degrade recalcitrant compounds, in particular, most of which are xeno-biotics. In addition, new strategies should be developed to improve the control of essential operating parameters affecting biofilter performance and to optimize reactor design and performance, in order to widen the application field of biofilters.

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