Adsorption, absorption, and biological degradation of ammonia in different biofilter organic media

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    A tailor-made apparatus called ammoniometer, which is a batch mode respirometer applied to the study of ammonia biodegradation in biofilter media, has been used to evaluate adsorption, absorption, and biodegradation in five different organic materials (compost, coconut fibre, bark, pruning wastes, and peat) obtained from full-scale biofilters in operation in several waste treatment plants. The results showed that absorption could be represented by a Henry's law linear equation, with values of the Henry coefficient significantly higher (from 1,866 to 15,320) than that of pure water (1,498). Adsorption data were successfully fitted to Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms and maximum adsorption capacity varies from 1.06 to 1.81 mg NH3/g dry media. Ammonia biodegradation rates for each organic material were also calculated. Biodegradation rates varied from 0.67 to 7.82 mg NH3/kg media/d depending on the material tested. The data obtained showed important differences in the behaviour of the biofilter organic media, which has important implications in the design and modelling of these systems. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)515-525
    JournalBiotechnology and bioengineering
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2007


    • Absorption
    • Adsorption
    • Ammonia
    • Biodegradation
    • Biofiltration
    • Organic support


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