A comparative study based on physical characteristics of suitable packing materials in biofiltration

A. D. Dorado, F. J. Lafuente, D. Gabriel, X. Gamisans

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60 Citations (Scopus)


In the present work, 10 packing materials commonly used as support media in biofiltration are analysed and compared to evaluate their suitability according to physical characteristics. The nature of the packing material in biofilters is an important factor for the success in their construction and operation. Different packing materials have been used in biofiltration without a global agreement about which ones are the most adequate for biofiltration success. The materials studied were chosen according to previous works in the field of biofiltration including both organic and inorganic (or synthetic) materials. A set of nine different parameters were selected to cope with well-established factors, such as a material-specific surface area, pressure drop, nutrient supply, water retentivity, sorption capacity, and purchase cost. One ranking of packing materials was established for each parameter studied in order to define a relative suitability degree. Since biofiltration success generally depends on a combination of the ranked parameters, a procedure was defined to compare packing materials suitability under common situations in biofiltration. The selected scenarios, such as biofiltration of intermittent loads of pollutants and biofiltration of waste gases with low relative humidity, were investigated. The results indicate that, out of the packing materials studied, activated carbons were ranked top of several parameter rankings and were shown to be a significantly better packing material when parameters were combined to assess such selected scenarios.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-204
JournalEnvironmental Technology (United Kingdom)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2010


  • Biofiltration
  • Economical assessment
  • Packing materials
  • Physical properties


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