Efficient removal of siloxanes and volatile organic compounds from sewage biogas by an anoxic biotrickling filter supplemented with activated carbon

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The removal of siloxanes (D4 and D5) and volatile organic contaminants (hexane, toluene and limonene) typically found in sewage biogas was investigated in a lab-scale biotrickling filter (BTF) packed with lava rock under anoxic conditions. Complete removal efficiencies for toluene and limonene were recorded at all empty bed residence time (EBRT) tested. The influence of EBRT was remarkable on the abatement of D5, whose removal decreased from 37% at 14.5 min to 16% at 4 min, while the removal of D4 and hexane remained below 16%. The packing material was supplemented with 20% of activated carbon aiming at increasing the mass transfer of the most hydrophobic pollutants. This strategy supported high removal efficiencies of 43 and 45% for hexane and D5 at the lowest EBRT. CO2 and silica were identified as mineralization products along with the presence of metabolites in the trickling solution such as dimethylsilanediol, 2-carene and α-terpinene ​
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