The mass loading (Lv) is defined as the ratio of the gas-flow rate (Qg) to the bed volume (V) multiplied by the inlet pollutant concentration in the off gas (Cge); for VOCs it should not exceed values of 3,000 5,000 mg m—3. In a biofilter, load increase could be ensured by either increasing waste-gas concentration or decreasing residence time. Although increasing gas concentration should, in general, accelerate biodegradation, excess concentrations above a certain threshold can inhibit microbial activity, so that decreasing residence time should be preferred. In addition, since the removal efficiency is affected by an increase in mass loading, and because excess organic load may obstruct the biofilter with the possible formation of toxic and/or acidic intermediates (25), a value between 10 and 160 g m—3 h—1 should be employed to achieve satisfactory removal yields.
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