Degradation Kinetics

The degradation macrokinetics in biofilters were reviewed by Ottengraf (20). Assuming gas flow through the biofilter to be plug flow, and that degradation follows typical Monod kinetics law (21), two different situations may occur: firstorder or zero-order kinetics, respectively. Several experimental works (13) demonstrated that zero-order kinetics are typically observed in biofilters for most of the volatile compounds, even at very low concentration levels (13,20,22).

Reaction Limitation. The process is reaction-limited above a critical pollutant concentration (Ccrit in the off-gas (Fig. 4a). Due to there being no diffusion limitation, the wet biolayer is fully active (e.g., the biofilter works at its maximum elimination capacity), and pollutant elimination is limited by the reaction (Fig. 5a). Under these conditions, the degree of conversion (g) is given by the ratio between

Gas phase

Biolayer

Packing material o

<(c) ,

« (b) >

< (a)

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