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Effects of n-butanol presence, inlet loading, empty bed residence time and starvation periods on the performance of a biotrickling filter removing cyclohexane vapors from air

Piotr Rybarczyk, Bartosz Szulczyński, Milena Gospodarek, and Jacek Gębicki

Department of Process Engineering and Chemical Technology, Gdańsk University of Technology, Faculty of Chemistry, Gdańsk, Poland



Received: 30 June 2019  Accepted: 21 September 2019


This paper presents the results of investigations on the removal of cyclohexane vapors from air using a peat-perlite packed biotrickling filter. Effects of basic process parameters i.e. inlet loading and empty bed residence time as well as introduction of n-butanol to the treated air stream and starvation periods on the process performance were evaluated. The results show that the introduction of hydrophilic n-butanol results in an enhanced removal of hydrophobic cyclohexane comparing to the experiments where only cyclohexane was treated. Additionally, the biotrickling filter performance after the starvation events is regained to more extent for mixed system than for the single cyclohexane. A novel and interesting element of the paper is the application of an electronic nose for the process monitoring. Obtained results are discussed in the perspective of an influence of the presence of a compound with different affinity to aqueous phase on the removal efficiency of the compound with opposite chemical properties.

Keywords: Biofiltration; Biotrickling filter; Cyclohexane; n-Butanol; Removal of VOCs; Electronic nose

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-019-00943-2


Chemical Papers 74 (3) 1039–1047 (2020)

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