Waste gas biofiltration: advances and limitations of current approaches in microbiology

Theresia Komang Ralebitso-Senior, Eric Senior, Renzo Di Felice, Kirsty Jarvis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As confidence in gas biofiltration efficacy grows, ever more complex malodorant and toxic molecules are ameliorated. In parallel, for many countries, emission control legislation becomes increasingly stringent to accommodate both public health and climate change imperatives. Effective gas biofiltration in biofilters and biotrickling filters depends on three key bioreactor variables: the support medium; gas molecule solubilization; and the catabolic population. Organic and inorganic support media, singly or in combination, have been employed and their key criteria are considered by critical appraisal of one, char. Catabolic species have included fungal and bacterial monocultures and, to a lesser extent, microbial communities. In the absence of organic support medium (soil, compost, sewage sludge, etc.) inoculum provision, a targeted enrichment and isolation program must be undertaken followed, possibly, by culture efficacy improvement. Microbial community process enhancement can then be gained by comprehensive characterization of the culturable and total populations. For all species, support medium attachment is critical and this is considered prior to filtration optimization by water content, pH, temperature, loadings, and nutrients manipulation. Finally, to negate discharge of fungal spores, and/or archaeal and/or bacterial cells, capture/destruction technologies are required to enable exploitation of the mineralization product CO2.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8542-8573
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


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