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  • Cr(III) removal from aqueous solutions: A straaightforward model approaching of the adsorption in a fixed-bed column

     Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Gamisans Noguera, Javier; Valderrama Angel, Cesar Alberto; Sole Sardans, M. Montserrat; Lao Luque, Concepcion
    Journal of environmental science and health. Part A, Toxic/hazardous substances & environmental engineering
    Date of publication: 2014-02-07
    Journal article

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    Prediction of breakthrough curves for continuous sorption characterization is generally performed by means of simple and simplified equations. These expressions hardly have any physical meaning and, also do not allow extrapolation. A novel and simple approach, based on unsteady state mass balances, is presented herein for the simulation of the adsorption of Cr(III) ions from aqueous onto a low-cost adsorbent (leonardite). The proposed model overcomes the limitations of the commonly used analytical solution-based models without the need for complex mathematical methods. A set of experimental breakthrough curves obtained from lab-scale, fixed-bed columns was used to calibrate and validate the proposed model with a minimum number of parameters to be adjusted.

  • Characterization of chromium (III) removal from aqueous solutions by an immature coal (leonardite). Toward a better understanding of the phenomena involved

     Lao Luque, Concepcion; Sole Sardans, M. Montserrat; Gamisans Noguera, Javier; Valderrama Angel, Cesar Alberto; Dorado Castaño, Antonio David
    Clean technologies and environmental policyB
    Date of publication: 2013-03-30
    Journal article

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    Removal of chromium (III) from aqueous solutions by leonardite (a low-cost adsorbent) was studied in a series of batch experiments. Stabilization of the adsorbent material with alginate beads was also investigated. The extent of adsorption was evaluated as a function of the solution pH, contact time, and the adsorbate concentration. Cr(III) removal was pH dependent, reaching a maximum at a pH range of 4¿5. Kinetic studies allowed gives relevant information regarding mass transfer processes involved during the sorption process. Equilibrium data fitted well to both the Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm models and the maximum adsorption capacity turned out to be 75.2 mg Cr(III) g-1. Encapsulation of leonardite in alginate beads resulted in a slightly lower adsorption capacity.

  • Modeling and control strategies for anoxic biotrickling filtration

     Gamisans Noguera, Javier; Almengló, Fernando; Ramírez, Martín; Cantero, Domingo; Gómez, José Manuel; Dorado Castaño, Antonio David
    Date of publication: 2013-09
    Book chapter

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  • Biomass accumulation effect on the hydrodynamics of an alkaline biotrickling filter treating dimethyl disulfide vapors: experimental determination towards a dynamic model description

     Arellano-Garcia, Luis; Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Gamisans Noguera, Javier; Revah, Sergio
    Date of publication: 2013-09
    Book chapter

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  • Development of a novel microsensor for the study of oxygen profiles in biofilms

     Gamisans Noguera, Javier; Guimera Villalba, Xavier; Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Moya, Ana; Prats-Alfonso, Elisabet; Villa, Rosa; Gabriel, David; Gabriel, Gemma
    Date of publication: 2013-09
    Book chapter

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  • Conversion of chemical scrubbers to biotrickling filters for VOCs and H2S treatment at low contact times

     Gamisans Noguera, Javier; Guimera Villalba, Xavier; Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Gabriel, David
    Date of publication: 2013-09
    Book chapter

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  • Biofiltration of WWTP sludge composting emission at contact times of 2 to 8 seconds

     Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Gabriel Buguña, David; Gamisans Noguera, Javier
    IWA Specialized Conference on Odors and Air Emissions jointly Conference on Biofiltration for Air Pollution Control
    Presentation's date: 2013-03-05
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    The performance of a biotrickling filter for the abatement of composting emissions was evaluated at short contact times of 2 to 8 seconds. The effect of EBRT, pH control and water renovation rate were evaluated. The average elimination capacity was 13 and 3.3 g N/C m-3 h -1 for ammonia and VOCs, respectively, and the maximum EC obtained during a doping process were 40 and 20 g N/C m -3 h -1 . Biotrickling filters appear as a better alternative than biofilters due to their controllability. However, water renovation becomes a critical parameter to avoid substrate inhibition by nitrite and ammonia accumulation. Not only ammonia absorption is negatively affected at low renovation rate but it is also affected the biological process. A decrease of 40 % was detected in the nitrification step when the hydraulic residence time increased from 2 to 5 hours. Results presented herein demonstrate that high removal efficiencies can be achieved for composting emissions in a biotrickling filter operated at short contact times which entails a substantial reduction of operational and investment costs in comparison to traditional techniques.

  • Application of respirometry and titrimetry to characterize SO-NR mixed cultures obtained from anoxic biotrickling filters

     Mora, Mabel; Fernandez, Maikel; Gómez, José Manuel; Cantero, Domingo; Gamisans Noguera, Javier; Gabriel, David
    International Conference on Biotechniques for Air Pollution Control and Bioenergy
    Presentation's date: 2013-09-11
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Monitoring of the biological activity in a desulfurizing biotrickling filter (BTF) is difficult since it implies esstimating biomass concetration and growth yield coefficients, which are parameters that can hardly be easured when using immobilitzed biomass. In this study, the characterization of a sulfide-oxidizing biomass obtained from an anoxic BTF was performed through the application of respirometric and titrimetric techniques.

  • Modeling and control strategies development for anoxic biotrickling filtration

     Almenglo, Fernando; Ramírez, Martín; Gómez, José Manuel; Cantero, Domingo; Gamisans Noguera, Javier; Dorado Castaño, Antonio David
    International Conference on Biotechniques for Air Pollution Control and Bioenergy
    Presentation's date: 2013-09-11
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    The aim of this work was to evaluate different operational modes in an anoxic biotrickling filter (BTF) by means of a dynamic model. The model was calibrated and validated satisfactorily with experimental data from a pilot-scale anoxic biotrickling filter plant for biogas sweetening. Model simulations allowed to find the optimal mode operation and predicting the biotrickling filter behavior.

  • Conversion of chemical scrubbers to biotrickling filters for VOCs and H2S treatment at low contact times

     Guimera Villalba, Xavier; Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Santos, Alfredo; Gamisans Noguera, Javier; Gabriel, David
    International Conference on Biotechniques for Air Pollution Control and Bioenergy
    Presentation's date: 2013-09-11
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    The purpose of this work was to evaluate the technical and economical feasibility of converting three in-series chemical scrubbers to biotrickling filters for the simultaneous removal at neutral pH of 10.000 m3 h-1 containing H2S and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). The conversion was based on previous conversion protocols and mainly required of replacing the original packing material by a structured packing and recycle pumps, besides modifying the controls and operation of the reactors. Almost complete removal of HsS and VOCs was found 10 and 20 days after startup, respectively. Under the conditions at the WWTP, i.e., a gas contact time of about 1.4 seconds per reactor and pH controlled between 6.5 and 6.8, inlet average concentrations below 10 ppm, of H2S and below 5 ppm, for VOCs were completely degraded in the reactors. The first and second reactors played a major role in the H2S degradation.

  • Biomass accumulation effect on the hydrodynamics of an alkaline biotrickling filter treating dimethyl disulfide vapors: experimental determination towards a dynamic model description

     Arellano García, Luis; Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Gamisans Noguera, Javier; Revah, Sergio
    International Conference on Biotechniques for Air Pollution Control and Bioenergy
    Presentation's date: 2013-09-11
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    The biomass accumulation effect on the performance of a biotrickling filter (BTF) has been assessed in termps of the hydrodynamics and the void space available to gas treatment changes. It was determined tht the available space for gas treatment inside the BTF had been reduced to almost half of that calculated initially when packing was biofilm free. Assuming that flow of liquid through a BTF can be described by the dispersion plug flow model, dispersion coefficients (Ddisp) of 0,12 and 0,33 m2 h-1 were determined when BTF was packed with clean and colonized packing respectively. These coefficients and other parameters assessed experimentally were used in a mathematical model to describe the dimethyl disulfide (DMDS) odors removal along the BTF height. The model that considered dispersion for the liquid flow fitted better to the experimental data, suggesting the importance of the axial dispersion which should be considered when modelling.

  • Development of a novel microsensor for the study of oxygen profiles in biofilms

     Guimera Villalba, Xavier; Prats Alfonso, Elisabet; Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Villa, Rosa; Gamisans Noguera, Javier; Gabriel, David; Gabriel, Gemma
    International Conference on Biotechniques for Air Pollution Control and Bioenergy
    Presentation's date: 2013-09-11
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Understanding of the processes taking place inside biofilms is a key parameter to progress in the optimization of biofiltration technologies. This study was conducted with the aim of developing a novel dissovled oxygen (DO) microsensor specially designed for biofilms monitoring. The microsensor was fabricated through standard photolithography techniques, resulting in a microelectrodes array (MEA) of 11 gold circular working electrodes, with a diameter of 50 µm , and a gold reference electrode, which allows obtaining a snapshot oxygen profile of 1 mm of depth. The performance of the sensor was fully characterized under different conditions, inwhich the sensor presented high sensitivity and repeatability, and low detection and quantification limits. Monitoring of sensor performance showed a stable and reliable response. The developed sensor was used in obtaining micropofiles in an aerobic heterotrophic biofilm, showing similar response to Clark-type commercial microsensors. These studies concluded that the novel MEA sensor for DO monitoring allows obtaining oxygen profiles within biofilms, becoming a useful tool for the research of many biological applications.

  • Elaboració de materials docents interactius aplicats a l'experimentació en bioenginyeria

     Bonsfills Pedros, Ana; Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Gamisans Noguera, Javier; Lao Luque, Concepcion; Sole Sardans, M. Montserrat
    Jornada d'Innovació Docent UPC
    Presentation's date: 2013-02-08
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Optimization of oxygen transfer through membrane diffusers for biological sweetening of biogas  Open access

     Rodriguez Ginesta, Anna; Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Bonsfills Pedros, Ana; Gabriel Buguña, David; Gamisans Noguera, Javier
    Chemical engineering and technology
    Date of publication: 2013
    Journal article

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    Biological techniques for the removal of gaseous pollutants such as hydrogen sulfide (H2S) have proved to be effective, environmentally friendly, and economically viable. However, when high concentrations of H2S are treated, the process is severely restricted by the oxygen deficit in the liquid phase. The oxygen transfer efficiency provided by a membrane diffuser is evaluated under typical pressure and salinity conditions used for the biological treatment of H2S in biogas. The optimal operating parameters for enhanced oxygen transfer were determined. The addition of pure oxygen with a membrane diffuser to increase the oxygen transfer rate and the use of a nonaqueous phase to improve oxygen transfer in a bioscrubber system are also evaluated.

    Postprint (author’s final draft)

  • Operational aspects, pH transition and microbial shifts of a H2S desulfurizing biotrickling filter with random packing material

     Montebello, Andrea M.; Bezerra, Tercia; Rovira, Roger; Rago, Laura; Lafuente, Javier; Gamisans Noguera, Javier; Campoy, Susana; Baeza, Mireia; Gabriel, David
    Chemosphere
    Date of publication: 2013-10
    Journal article

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    Pall rings, a common random packing material, were used in the biotrickling filtration of biogas with high H2S. Assessment of 600 d of operation covered the reactor start-up, the operation at neutral pH and the transition from neutral to acid pH. During the start-up period, operational parameters such as the aeration rate and the trickling liquid velocity were optimized. During the steady-state operation at neutral pH, the performance of the random packing material was investigated by reducing the gas contact time at both constant and increasing H2S loads. The random packing material showed similar elimination capacities and removal efficiencies in comparison with previous studies with a structured packing material, indicating that Pall rings are suitable for biogas desulfurization in biotrickling filters. The diversity of Eubacteria and the structure of the community were investigated before and after the pH transition using the bacterial tag-encoded FLX amplicon pyrosequencing. The pH transition to acid pH drastically reduced the microbial diversity and produced a progressive specialization of the sulfur-oxidizing bacteria community without any detrimental effect on the overall desulfurizing capacity of the reactor. During acidic pH operation, a persistent accumulation of elemental sulfur was found.

  • Eliminació de H2S mitjançant biofiltres percoladors: millora de la transferència d'oxigen.

     Rodriguez Mary, Ginesta
    Defense's date: 2013-10-18
    Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
    Theses

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  • Technical and environmental viability of membrane technologies in water treatment: NF in drinking water process and MBR for watewater reuse.  Open access

     Ribera Simon, Gemma
    Defense's date: 2013-03-22
    Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
    Theses

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    La present tesi doctoral tracta de l’estudi de la tecnologia de membranes des d’un punt de vista aplicat: com és el cas de la nanofiltració (NF) pel tractament d’aigua potable i de l’ús d’un bioreactor de membranes (MBR) per la depuració d’aigües residuals. La primera part ha estudiat la capacitat de la NF per reduir el contingut de precursors de subproductes de desinfecció presents en l’aigua potable, especialment dels trihalometans (THM). En canvi, la segona part ha avaluat la capacitat de la tecnologia MBR per tractar els efluents de la indústria vinícola i dotar a l’aigua residual de la qualitat necessària per a la seva reutilització. Les membranes de NF s’han estudiat des d’escala laboratori, en configuració de mòdul pla, fins a planta pilot utilitzant 18 mòduls en espiral. Els estudis previs a nivell de laboratori han permès comparar 10 membranes comercials de NF en funció de la seva permeabilitat i capacitat de reducció del potencial de formació de trihalometans (PFTHM). La majoria d’elles permeten reduir el PFTHM en més del 95%, tot i que presenten rebutjos variables respecte les sals inorgàniques, fet que afecta la permeabilitat i consum energètic del sistema. En aquest estudi també es va tenir en compte com afecta la variabilitat estacional i el punt de captació sobre la qualitat de l’aigua d’entrada a les membranes. Es van seleccionar dues membranes per a l’estudi en paral·lel en la planta pilot obtenint un bon rendiment en ambdós casos sota condicions d’operació òptimes. Amb l’objectiu final d’optimitzar el procés de tractament, es van avaluar diferents aspectes: capacitat de separació de diferents components inorgànics i orgànics, requeriments de pressió d’entrada per treballar a igual recuperació per a un mateix cabal d’entrada, pretractament, reducció del flux inicial de permeat i efectivitat de les neteges químiques. Els resultats obtinguts a ambdues escales es van comparar per poder validar la predicció des del nivell de laboratori, juntament amb els programes de disseny dels proveïdors. Finalment, en aquest treball també es va avaluar l’impacte ambiental d’aquesta tecnologia mitjançant l’anàlisi de cicle de vida (ACV) utilitzant les dades obtingudes de la planta pilot i aproximacions per a una possible instal·lació a escala real de la NF. Els resultats d’aquest estudi indiquen un increment de l’impacte ambiental, respecte el procés actual, degut principalment al major consum energètic durant l’operació de les membranes. Combinant l’estudi d’ACV amb l’anàlisi de risc per a la salut humana en funció de la qualitat de l’aigua obtinguda s’ha desenvolupat una eina que ajuda al disseny del escalat de la planta real. De fet, en l’estudi s’observa que es pot arribar a obtenir una reducció del 75% del risc associat a la presencia de THM a l’aigua potable. D’altra banda, per avaluar la tecnologia MBR es va instal·lar una planta pilot a la depuradora d’una empresa vinícola. Durant els mesos d’operació es va comparar la qualitat dels efluents del sistema convencional i del MBR. Demostrant que el MBR presenta una qualitat final molt superior que en permet la seva reutilització en diferents aplicacions. També es va demostrar com la tecnologia MBR es capaç d’absorbir les variacions de càrrega i cabal que presenten els efluents d’aquesta indústria, fet que demostra la seva aplicabilitat en aquest sector. Les dades obtingudes d’aquesta planta pilot també es van utilitzar per avaluar l’impacte ambiental derivat de la implementació a escala real de la tecnologia MBR. Els resultats obtinguts es van comparar amb el procés existent, basat en la digestió aeròbica de fangs activats, on s’observa un trasllat de l’impacte entre vectors ambientals, degut a que la millora de la qualitat de l’aigua i per tant reducció en categories d’impacte ambiental com la eutrofització implica l’augment del consum energètic i per tant un augment de l’impacte en categories com el canvi climàtic o la formació de partícules o del smog fotoquímic.

    The present thesis is about membrane technology implementation for two cases of water processes: nanofiltration (NF) to produce drinking water and membrane bioreactor (MBR) to treat wastewater effluent. The first part has evaluated NF capacity to reduce contents of disinfection by-products precursors, especially for trihalomethanes (THM). On the other hand, the second part is focused to evaluate MBR capacity to treat winery industry effluents giving the required quality for wastewater reclamation and reuse. NF membranes have been studied in laboratory set-up (flat-sheet module) and in pilot plant (18 spiral-wound elements). Initially, laboratory results allowed to select two of the ten membranes tested at this scale, in function of the permeability and the reduction of trihalomethane formation potential (THMFP). Most of the membranes rejected THMFP at levels of 95%, however the separation capacities in front of inorganic salts were highly variable, which may have important consequences in permeability and energy demands for a full-scale system. This study also considered factors influencing feed water quality for the NF membranes, such as seasonal variations and different catchments of raw water. Two NF membranes were selected in order to be compared simultaneously in a pilot plant. Under optimum conditions, good performances were obtained for both membranes. With the final aim to optimize treatment process, several aspects were evaluated simultaneously for each membrane: separation capacities for different inorganic and organic components, feed pressure requirements to operate with the same recovery for the same feed flow, pretreatment, initial flux decline and chemical cleaning efficiencies. Results obtained from both scales were compared to validate prediction for solutes rejection in a real plant from laboratory experiments, together with the calculations using suppliers¿ design software. Finally, in this work environmental impact for this technology was also evaluated by means of life cycle assessment (LCA), using pilot plant data and approximations for the NF implementation in a full-scale drinking water treatment plant (DWTP). Results indicated how increase the environmental impacts using NF in front of the current treatment, mainly as a result of higher energy demands during membrane process. These results have been correlated with results calculated by means of human health risk (HHR) assessment, developing a multicriteria tool in order to design a full-scale DWTP. Is important to note that carcinogenic risk index can be lowered near to 75%, associated to the reduction of THM precursor material (THMFP), if NF plant produces 100% of the final drinking water. On the other side, a MBR pilot plant was installed in the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) to treat effluents of winery industry. Quality of effluents from the current conventional activated sludge (CAS) plant and from the MBR pilot plant was compared during the experimental campaign, demonstrating that MBR effluent presented a higher quality that accomplished with legislated requirements for some reuse applications. In addition, MBR technology was able to maintain permeability although organic loads fluctuations in winery industry take place, what demonstrated its applicability in this sector. Data obtained from MBR pilot plant were also employed to evaluate environmental impact associated to full-scale implementation of MBR technology, together with those obtained for the actual CAS system. Among other environmental impact categories, observed impacts related to wastewater emissions into water bodies (freshwater eutrophication) were diminished while impacts on climate change and particulate material (or photochemical compounds) formation were increased as a result of energy consumption.

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    The challenge of plurilingual competence: analysis and teaching tools from the chemical engineering  Open access

     Alsina Aubach, Montserrat; de las Heras Cisa, F. Xavier; Lao Luque, Concepcion; Gamisans Noguera, Javier
    International Symposium on Innovation and Quality in Engineering Education
    Presentation's date: 2012-04-27
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    The European Institutions have the challenge and the commitment to enhance plurilingual competence, and teaching curricular subjects in a foreign language is seen as one of the most promising alternatives. However, teaching in a foreign language doesn¿t mean just to translate contents, when the quality of the specific subject wants to be guaranteed. Some arrangements are necessary in order to balance the achievement of both, specific and linguistic competences. In that context, professors teaching different engineering subjects at the Campus of Manresa (EPSEM) at the UPC have been involved in projects to analyze the current situation and develop some on-line open access materials, as Class-talk and Multilingual Formulae, giving rise to the group Linguatech-Rima (Research group on Scientific and Technologic Multilingual Communication). In this paper we focus on how to improve plurilingual competence throughout the new degrees, by teaching chemical subjects in English to non-native speakers. Data about the level in english of current professors are taken in account. We also describes the use of the above resources to improve the quality of learning in two subjects Chemistry and Instrumental Analytical Chemistry.

    The European Institutions have the challenge and the commitment to enhance plurilingual competence, and teaching curricular subjects in a foreign language is seen as one of the most promising alternatives. However, teaching in a foreign language doesn’t mean just to translate contents, when the quality of the specific subject wants to be guaranteed. Some arrangements are necessary in order to balance the achievement of both, specific and linguistic competences. In that context, professors teaching different engineering subjects at the Campus of Manresa (EPSEM) at the UPC have been involved in projects to analyze the current situation and develop some on-line open access materials, as Class-talk and Multilingual Formulae, giving rise to the group Linguatech-Rima (Research group on Scientific and Technologic Multilingual Communication). In this paper we focus on how to improve plurilingual competence throughout the new degrees, by teaching chemical subjects in English to non-native speakers. Data about the level in english of current professors are taken in account. We also describes the use of the above resources to improve the quality of learning in two subjects Chemistry and Instrumental Analytical Chemistry.

    Las instituciones europeas tienen el reto y el compromiso de mejorar la competencia plurilingüe, y la enseñanza de materias curriculares en una lengua extranjera es vista como una de las alternativas más prometedoras para conseguirlo. Sin embargo, si se quiere garantizar la calidad de la materia específica impartida, no se trata simplemente de traducir el contenido. Deben realizarse modificaciones adicionales a fin de equilibrar la consecución de ambas, las competencias específicas y las lingüísticas. En ese contexto, profesores de diferentes materias de ingeniería en el Campus de Manresa (EPSEM) de la UPC se han implicado en proyectos de análisis de la situación actual, y desarrollo de materiales accesibles en la red, como el Class-Talk y el Multilingual Formulae, dando lugar al grupo Linguatech-Rima (grupo de investigación en comunicación científica y tecnológica multilingüe). En este artículo nos centramos en cómo mejorar la competencia plurilingüe a través de las nuevas titulaciones, con la impartición de materias de química en inglés, para hablantes no nativos. Para la planificación se han tenido en cuenta datos sobre el nivel de inglés del profesorado actual. Se describe también el uso de los recursos anteriores para mejorar la calidad del aprendizaje, desde las asignaturas de Química y Química analítica instrumental.

  • Interaction between sorption and biodegradation in a biofilter packed with activated carbon

     Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Lafuente Sancho, Francisco Javier; Gabriel Buguña, David; Gamisans Noguera, Javier
    Water science and technology
    Date of publication: 2012
    Journal article

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    The main objective of this study is to evaluate qualitatively and quantitatively the effect of starvation periods in the biodegradation capacity of microorganisms when the support media is a material with high sorption capacity. Pollutant sorption and biodegradation, which occur simultaneously in the biofilter, describe the overall behavior of the air treatment system during normal operation and during starvation periods. Results obtained in the present study demonstrate that sorption capacity of the material not only plays an important role during the start-up of operation, but it is also important in the steady operation. Simultaneously, as biomass grows on the support, biodegradation becomes more decisive in the performance. It was found that zones of packing material with low moisture content are controlled by the sorption mechanism, at expenses of biodegradation, and they are essential as pollutant reservoir during starvation periods. In the present study a significant decrease in the biodegradation capacity of microorganisms immobilized on activated carbon were not observed as consequence of continuously load interruptions.

    Postprint (author’s final draft)

  • Optimization of oxygen transfer through venturi-based systems applied to the biological sweetening of biogas

     Rodriguez Ginesta, Anna; Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Bonsfills Pedros, Ana; Sanahuja Moliner, Ricard; Gabriel, David; Gamisans Noguera, Javier
    Journal of chemical technology & biotechnology
    Date of publication: 2012-02-01
    Journal article

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    Effect of pH and Fe(III) ions on chalcopyrite bioleaching by an adapted consortium from biogas sweetening  Open access

     Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Sole Sardans, M. Montserrat; Lao Luque, Concepcion; Alfonso Abella, María Pura; Gamisans Noguera, Javier
    Minerals engineering
    Date of publication: 2012
    Journal article

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    Bacterial leaching of metal sulfides offers a low cost and an environmentally friendly technology for valuable metals recovering. Particle size, inoculum, pH and ferric ion affect the process of bioleaching of copper from chalcopyrite ores. In the case of low grade ores, the effect of these key parameters is critical to determine the viability of the technique. Moreover, there is not a total agreement on the optimal operation conditions to obtain high recover efficiencies of the metal. In the study presented herein a low-grade copper sulfide ore was subjected to bioleaching process using a mixed microbial consortium obtained from a biotrickling filter treating high loads of H2S. Experiments were performed comparing with bacteria from different origin, different mineral particle size, medium pH and additional ion ferric concentrations as leaching agent. After 1300 hours of operation, the total copper recovery achieves a value of 50 % in the most acidic conditions. A decrease of 2.5 units of pH implies an increase in the efficiency of 35% under these conditions. It was also observed an optimal particle size (between 2 and 3 mm), considerably higher than previous studies, meaning a decrease in operational cost to mill material. Finally, results indicate that the presence of additional ferric ion improves the performance of bioleaching but there is a threshold concentration from which the system is not sensitive (500 ppm).

    Postprint (author’s final draft)

  • Biomass accumulation in a biofilter treating toluene at high loads ¿ Part 1: Experimental performance from inoculation to clogging

     Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Baeza, Juan Antonio; Lafuente, Javier; Gabriel, David; Gamisans Noguera, Javier
    Chemical engineering journal
    Date of publication: 2012
    Journal article

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  • Biomass accumulation in a biofilter treating toluene at high loads ¿ Part 2: Model development, calibration and validation

     Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Lafuente Sancho, Francisco Javier; Gabriel Buguña, David; Gamisans Noguera, Javier
    Chemical engineering journal
    Date of publication: 2012
    Journal article

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  • Premi Extraordinari de Doctorat 2012 a la millor tesi doctoral en l'àmbit d'Enginyeria Industrial llegida en el any acadèmic 2009-2010.

     Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Gamisans Noguera, Javier; Gabriel, David
    Award or recognition

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  • Optimization of oxygen transfer through venturi-based systems applied to the biological sweetening of biogas

     Rodriguez Mary, Ginesta; Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Bonsfills Pedros, Ana; Sanahuja Moliner, Ricard; Gamisans Noguera, Javier; Gabriel, David
    International Conference on Biotechniques for Air Pollution Control
    Presentation's date: 2011-10-12
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Kinetic parameters determination of a SO-NR microbial population by respirometric tests

     Mora, Mabel; Guisáosla, Albert; Lafuente, Javier; Gamisans Noguera, Javier; Gabriel, David
    International Conference on Biotechniques for Air Pollution Control
    Presentation's date: 2011-10-12
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Elaboració de materials docents interactius aplicats a l'experimentació en enginyeria química  Open access

     Bonsfills Pedros, Ana; Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Gamisans Noguera, Javier; Lao Luque, Concepcion; Sole Sardans, M. Montserrat
    Jornada d'Innovació Docent UPC
    Presentation's date: 2011-02-02
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • A Closer look at dissolved oxygen in biofilms and its effect on pollutant biodegradation in biotrickling filters

     Gamisans Noguera, Javier
    International Conference on Biotechniques for Air Pollution Control
    Presentation's date: 2011-10-13
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  • Interaction between sorption and biodegradation in a biofilter packed with activated carbon

     Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Lafuente, Javier; Gabriel Buguña, David; Gamisans Noguera, Javier
    IWA Conference on Odours and VOCs
    Presentation's date: 2011-10-17
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  • Operational aspects of the desulfurization process of energy gases mimics in biotrickling filters

     Fortuny, Marc; Gamisans Noguera, Javier; Deshusses, Marc A.; Lafuente, Javier; Casas ., Carles; Gabriel, David
    Water research (Oxford)
    Date of publication: 2011-11-01
    Journal article

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  • Utilisation of activated carbon in biofilters for elimination of industrial waste gases

     Gabriel, David; Prado, Óscar Jesús; Lafuente, Javier; Gamisans Noguera, Javier; Maestre, Juan P.; Hernández, Jerónimo; Dorado Castaño, Antonio David
    Date of publication: 2011
    Book chapter

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  • Avaluació i caracterització d'una apatita biogènica pel tractament in situ d'aigües subterrànies i sòls contaminats per activitats mineres

     Oliva Moncunill, Josep
    Defense's date: 2011-04-27
    Department of Mining Engineering and Natural Resources, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
    Theses

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  • Què és l'enginyeria química?

     Grau Vilalta, Maria Dolors; Bonsfills Pedros, Ana; Casas Sabata, Jose Maria; Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Gamisans Noguera, Javier
    Collaboration in exhibitions

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  • LA QUÍMICA i la societat

     Grau Vilalta, Maria Dolors; Font Soldevila, Jose; Sanz Balague, Joaquim; Guaus Guerrero, Ester; Calvet Tarragona, Aurelio; Salán Ballesteros, Mª Núria; Martínez Martínez, María R.; Farran Marsa, Adriana; Gorchs Altarriba, Roser; Alvarez Del Castillo, M. Dolores; Garrido Soriano, Nuria; Morillo Cazorla, Margarita; Almajano Pablos, Maria Pilar; Cardona Planes, Anna Maria; Macanás de Benito, Jorge; Bonsfills Pedros, Ana; Gamisans Noguera, Javier; Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Lao Luque, Concepcion; Torrent Burgues, Juan; Molins Duran, Gemma; Colom Fajula, Xavier; Carrillo Navarrete, Fernando; Ramon Portés, Eva; Garriga Sole, Pere; Sole Sardans, M. Montserrat; Ardanuy Raso, Monica; Pares Sabates, Ferran; Roncero Vivero, Maria Blanca; Cusola Aumedes, Oriol
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  • On és la química? (2011)

     Grau Vilalta, Maria Dolors; Bonsfills Pedros, Ana; Casas Sabata, Jose Maria; Gamisans Noguera, Javier; Gorchs Altarriba, Roser; Sole Sardans, M. Montserrat
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  • Modificación de un carbón inmaduro (leonardita) para la eliminación de arsénico de aguas contaminadas

     Torras Melenchon, Nuria; Gamisans Noguera, Javier; Sole Sardans, M. Montserrat; Lao Luque, Concepcion
    Reunión del Grupo Español del Carbón
    Presentation's date: 2010-05-12
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  • Predicting clogging in biofilters through a straightforward and comprehensive mathematical model

     Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Lafuente, Javier; Gabriel, David; Gamisans Noguera, Javier
    Duke - UAM Conference on Biofiltration for Air Pollution Control
    Presentation's date: 2010-10-29
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  • Oxidation of biologically-produced elemental sulfur at neutrophilic conditions

     Fortuny, Marc; Casas, Carles; Lafuente, Javier; Gabriel, David; Gamisans Noguera, Javier
    International Conference on Biotechniques for Air Pollution Control
    Presentation's date: 2010
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Experimentación en Ingeniería Química

     Bonsfills Pedros, Ana; Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Gamisans Noguera, Javier; Lao Luque, Concepcion; Sole Sardans, M. Montserrat
    Jornadas de Ingeniería Química
    Presentation's date: 2010-09-17
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  • Access to the full text
    A comparative study based on physical characteristics of suitable packing materials in biofiltration  Open access

     Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Lafuente, J; Gabriel Buguña, David; Gamisans Noguera, Javier
    Environmental technology
    Date of publication: 2010-02-02
    Journal article

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  • Oxidation of biologically produced elemental sulfur under neutrophilic conditions

     Fortuny, Marc; Guisasola, Albert; Casas, Carles; Gamisans Noguera, Javier; Lafuente, Javier; Gabriel, David
    Journal of chemical technology & biotechnology
    Date of publication: 2010-01-12
    Journal article

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  • Study of the biomass accumulation from inoculation to clogging in a biofilter treating toluene at high loads

     Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Gamisans Noguera, Javier; Baeza, Juan A.; Lafuente, Javier; Gabriel, David
    Date of publication: 2010
    Book chapter

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  • Particulate Matter Resuspension from Urban Paved Roads: Impact on Air Quality and Abatement Strategies

     Amato, Fulvio
    Defense's date: 2010-10-15
    Department of Mining Engineering and Natural Resources, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
    Theses

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  • Biofiltració de contaminants gasosos en aire: caracterització de paràmetres clau per l'estudi i modelització del creixement de biomassa  Open access  awarded activity

     Dorado Castaño, Antonio David
    Defense's date: 2010-01-29
    Department of Mining Engineering and Natural Resources, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
    Theses

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    Biofiltration has become an effective and economical alternative to traditional gas treatment systems. High costs of operation and energy consumption associated to conventional treatments have lead to increase the attention on biological processes. In general, a biofilter consists in a reactor packed with a carrier material (organic or inorganic) serving as a support for biofilm growth. The contaminated air stream to be treated is passed through the fixed-bed and the pollutant is transferred from the gas to the biofilm by absorption. In the biofilm, diffusion and biodegradation take place simultaneously. Thus, biofiltration employs the metabolic activity of microorganisms to degrade pollutants which are the energy source for microbial growth. In biofiltration, the mass transfer processes from the gas phase to the biofilm and the posterior biological degradation are the main phenomena involved in the abatement of volatile compounds in air. The correct description of biofilters, based on main phenomena, is related with physico-chemical properties of the packing materials used to immobilize the biomass and the operating conditions. Biofilters modeling has received less attention in comparison to experimental works, which is related with the complexity of the process, due to the physical, chemical and biological interactions. In this doctoral Thesis, firstly, research motivation, scope and outline of the work is presented (chapter 1). Secondly, in a general introduction (chapter 2), main physico-chemical treatments to abate volatile compounds in air are described in comparison to the different biological alternatives. In the same chapter, the key factors in the operation of biofilters are presented. Key factors lead to describe main mechanisms involved in the process of biofiltration, in order to incorporate the different phenomena in a mathematical model to describe the behavior of biofilters, underlining the biomass growth and their consequences in the operation. Objectives are in chapter 3 and Materials and Methods in chapter 4. Doctoral Thesis is presented as a compendium of 9 articles annexed in the Results’ chapter (chapter 5) to their latter general discussion (chapter 6). First 6 articles are related with experimental results of key factors and the other 3 articles are related with mathematical modeling of the processes which describe the behavior of biofilters. In the article “A comparative study based on physical characteristics of the most suitable packing materials for common situations in biofiltration” 10 packing materials commonly used as support media in biofiltration are analyzed and compared to evaluate their suitability according to physical characteristics. 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 material specific surface area, pressure drop, nutrients supply, water retentivity, sorption capacity and purchase cost. One ranking of packing materials was established per each parameter studied to define a relative suitability degree. Since biofiltration success generally depends on a combination of the ranked parameters, a procedure was defined to compare suitability of packing materials under common situations in biofiltration. Selected scenarios such as biofiltration of intermittent loads of pollutant and biofiltration of waste gases with low relative humidity were investigated. Among materials with high potential to be used as support media in biofilters, in the article “Evaluation of sludge-based carbon as packing material in biofiltration in comparison to classic materials”, a carbon obtained from sludge from wastewater treatment facilities is analyzed to use it as support material in a biofilter in comparison to classical materials used in this purpose. The study includes the performance of material in an operative, lab-scale biofilter. Apart from evaluating main properties of materials in their nature state, in the article “The role of water in performance of biofilters: parameterization of pressure drop and sorption capacities for common packing materials” is studied how the amount of water retained in biofilters affects physical properties of packing materials and packed beds. In this study, the influence of water on the pressure drop and sorption capacities of different packing materials were experimentally studied and compared. Pressure drop was characterized as a function of dynamic hold-up, porosity and gas flow rate. Sorption capacities for toluene were determined for both wet and dry materials to obtain information about the nature of interactions between the contaminant, the packing materials and the aqueous phase. The experimental sorption capacities of materials were fitted to different isotherm models for gas adsorption in porous materials. The corresponding confidence interval was determined by the Fisher information matrix. The results quantified the dynamic hold-up effect resulting from the significant increase in the pressure drop throughout the bed, i.e. the financial cost of driving air, and the negative effect of this air on the total amount of hydrophobic pollutant that can be adsorbed by the supports. Furthermore, the results provided equations for ascertaining water presence and sorption capacities that could be widely used in the mathematical modeling of biofilters. Later, in the article “Evaluation of mass transfer coefficients in biotrickling filters: experimental determination and comparison to correlations”, overall mass transfer coefficients were determined experimentally. A simple methodology based on overall mass balances and following a standard procedure allowed to calculate the mass transfer coefficients at different operating conditions corresponding to usual biofilter situations. Experimental results were fitted to existing and well-accepted correlations used in conventional biofilters or biotrickling filters modeling. Simple correlations for the experimental data obtained in this study were also suggested. Consequently, in the article “Development of a kinetic model for elemental sulfur and sulfate formation from the autotrophic sulfide oxidation using respirometric techniques” mass transfer is described in a respirometer in order to characterize a tool used usually in biofiltration to determine experimentally kinetic parameters. Finally, once physical phenomena have been characterized, biodegradation of a common pollutant (toluene) and the corresponding biomass growth from inoculation to biofilter clogging is studied towards future modeling of the system. In the article “Biomass accumulation in a biofilter treating toluene at high loads. Part 1: Experimental performance from inoculation to clogging” carbon dioxide production, oxygen consumption, toluene removal, pressure drop and biofilter weight were the parameters related with biomass growth which were monitored in 5 sampling ports along the height of the bioreactor during 120 days of operation. In the second step of the study, the main results in the modeling of biofilters are described according to the experimental data collected in the first part of the study. To achieve the final objective of modeling biomass growth inside biofilters, a base model is developed including the main phenomena involved in biofiltration. The validation of this base model, which predicts the outlet concentrations of pollutant according to system characteristics and operating conditions, has been used satisfactory to describe the evolution from bacterial to fungal population inside a biofilter, as it is detailed in “Modeling of a bacterial and fungal biofilter applied to toluene abatement: kinetic parameter estimation and model validation”. The mathematical model is based on detailed mass balances which include the main processes involved in the system: advection, absorption, diffusion and biodegradation. The model was calibrated and validated using experimental data obtained from two equal lab-scale biofilters. A novel procedure in gas biofilters modeling was considered for checking the model calibration, by the assessment of the parameters confidence interval based on the Fisher Information Matrix (FIM). Additionally, the incorporation of extra phenomena in the base model is studied and a sensitivity analysis is performed to distinguish the most significant parameters under a wide range of operation conditions. This part of the study is included in “Developing a general diffusion-reaction model applied to gas-phase VOCs removal by biofiltration: parameter analysis and phenomena study”. Experimental results in the study of the key factors and discussion of phenomena involved in the process, let to develop, calibrate and validate a dynamic model describing the behavior of biofilters for waste gas treatment considering biomass growth. The dynamic model predicts outlet concentrations along the height of the biofilter and the consequences of biomass growth in the progressive decrease in bed porosity and the increase in pressure drop, relating with the increase in the operating cost and the substitution of the packing material by bed clogging. The satisfactory predictions of the dynamic model to experimental data are presented in the article “Biomass accumulation in a biofilter treating toluene at high loads. Part 2: Model development, calibration and validation

    La biofiltració ha esdevingut una alternativa efectiva i econòmica als sistemes tradicionals fisicoquímics de tractament de contaminants gasosos. Les elevades despeses d’operació i el consum energètic associat als tractaments convencionals han accentuat l’atenció en els processos biològics. En general, un biofiltre consisteix en un reactor empacat amb un material de rebliment (orgànic o inorgànic) que esdevé el medi de suport pel creixement dels microorganismes. L’aire a tractar circula a través del llit i els contaminants es transfereixen des del gas a la biopel·lícula per absorció, on posteriorment difonen i es biodegraden simultàniament. D’aquesta manera, en biofiltració, s’aprofita l’activitat metabòlica dels microorganismes per degradar contaminants que esdevenen la font de matèria i energia pel seu creixement. En biofiltració, la transferència de massa des de la fase gas a la biopel·lícula i la posterior degradació biològica són els principals fenòmens responsables de l’eliminació dels contaminants volàtils en aire. La correcta descripció d’un biofiltre, basada en aquests dos principals processos, es relaciona amb les propietats fisicoquímiques del material de rebliment utilitzat per immobilitzar la biomassa i les condicions d’operació. La modelització de biofiltres ha rebut menys atenció en comparació als treballs experimentals, fet que es relaciona amb la complexitat del procés, que inclou diverses interaccions físiques, químiques i biològiques. En la present tesi doctoral, en primer lloc, es descriu la problemàtica i s’expliquen els antecedents de l’estudi i les motivacions del mateix (capítol 1). En segon lloc, en un capítol introductori (capítol 2) es descriuen els principals tractaments fisicoquímics per l’eliminació de contaminants gasosos en aire en comparació amb les diferents configuracions dels tractaments biològics. En aquest mateix capítol, es presenten els factors que han estat identificats com a claus en l’operació de biofiltres. Els factors clau permeten descriure els principals mecanismes implicats en els processos de biofiltració, a fi d’incorporar els diferents fenòmens en un model matemàtic que descrigui el comportament d’un biofiltre, posant especial atenció en el creixement de biomassa i en les seves conseqüències sobre l’operació. En el capítol 3 es recullen els principals objectius de l’estudi i en el capítol 4 els materials i mètodes utilitzats. La present tesi doctoral es presenta com a compendi d’un total de 9 articles que s’annexen en l’apartat de resultats (capítol 5) per a la seva posterior discussió general (capítol 6). Els primers 6 articles corresponen a l’estudi experimental dels paràmetres clau en biofiltració i els 3 restants, a la modelització matemàtica dels processos que descriuen el comportament d’un biofiltre. En l’article “A comparative study based on physical characteristics of the most suitable packing materials for common situations in biofiltration” es selecciona el material més adient en funció de les característiques físiques, que es relacionen amb les principals funcions que el material ha de portar a terme en un biofiltre, sense deixar de banda els criteris econòmics (despesa del material i costs d’operació associat a la utilització del material). L’estudi dels paràmetres clau en biofiltració es realitza comparativament en 10 materials de rebliment comunament utilitzats en biofiltració o potencialment utilitzables per les seves propietats. Entre els materials amb un elevat potencial per ser utilitzats com a material de rebliment en biofiltració, en l’article “Evaluation of sludge-based carbon as packing material in biofiltration in comparison to classic materials” s’avalua la reutilització d’un fang procedent d’una estació depuradora d’aigües residuals (tractat prèviament), per eliminar toluè. A banda d’avaluar les principals propietats dels materials en el seus estats naturals, en l’article “The role of water in performance of biofilters: parameterization of pressure drop and sorption capacities for common packing materials” també s’estudia la influència que exerceixen les condicions d’humitat pròpies de la biofiltració en dos paràmetres clau en l’operació: les pèrdues de pressió que experimenta el fluid i les capacitats dels materials per adsorbir el contaminant i esmorteir les possibles fluctuacions de càrrega. Posteriorment, en l’article “Evaluation of mass transfer coefficients in biotrickling filters: experimental determination and comparison to correlations” es caracteritza la transferència de massa a partir d’un procediment experimental senzill i es compara amb els resultats obtinguts amb les correlacions empíriques més utilitzades en els estudis de biofiltració. En l’article “Development of a kinetic model for elemental sulfur and sulfate formation from the autotrophic sulfide oxidation using respirometric techniques” també es descriu la transferència de massa, però en aquesta ocasió per un respiròmetre en fase líquida, amb el propòsit de caracteritzar el fenomen en una eina utilitzada habitualment en biofiltració, per la determinació experimental de paràmetres cinètics. Finalment, una vegada caracteritzats els fenòmens físics implicats, s’estudia la degradació d’un contaminant comú (toluè) i el creixement de biomassa associat des de la inoculació del reactor fins a la colmatació del llit. Els resultats obtinguts es presenten en l’article “Biomass accumulation in a biofilter treating toluene at high loads. Part 1: Experimental performance from inoculation to clogging”. El propòsit final és enregistrar l’evolució dels principals paràmetres relacionats amb el creixement de la biopel·lícula per modelitzar el procés d’acumulació de biomassa. En la segona part de l’estudi es descriuen els principals resultats obtinguts en la modelització del procés de biofiltració partint de la informació experimental obtinguda sobre els paràmetres clau en biofiltració. Per assolir l’objectiu final de modelitzar el creixement de biomassa a l’interior d’un biofiltre es parteix del desenvolupament d’un model bàsic que inclou els principals fenòmens que descriuen el procés de biofiltració. La validesa d’aquest model bàsic, que prediu les concentracions de sortida de contaminant en funció de les característiques del sistema i les condicions d’operació, ha estat satisfactòriament comprovada en la descripció de l’evolució de poblacions a l’interior d’un biofiltre, tal i com es detalla en l’article “Modeling of a bacterial and fungal biofilter applied to toluene abatement: kinetic parameter estimation and model validation”. Per altra banda, s’estudia la incorporació de fenòmens addicionals en el model bàsic i es realitza un anàlisi de sensibilitat dels paràmetres del model, per discernir quins són els paràmetres més influents en les prediccions del model. Aquesta part es recull en l’article “Developing a general diffusion-reaction model applied to gas-phase VOCs removal by biofiltration: parameter analysis and phenomena study”. Els resultats obtinguts a nivell experimental en l’estudi de paràmetres clau de l’operació d’un biofiltre i la discussió realitzada en la modelització dels fenòmens que descriuen el procés, permet desenvolupar, calibrar i validar un model dinàmic que descriu els comportament d’un biofiltre pel tractament d’un contaminant gasós, incloent el creixement de biomassa. El model dinàmic de creixement prediu el perfil de concentracions en el biofiltre al llarg del temps, al mateix temps que preveu les conseqüències de l’augment del gruix de la biopel·lícula en la progressiva disminució de la porositat del llit i l’increment de les pèrdues de pressió, relacionades a la vegada, amb l’increment de les despeses d’operació i la possible substitució del material per la colmatació del llit. L’ajust satisfactori de les prediccions del model a dades experimentals obtingudes en l’operació d’un biofiltre real a escala laboratori es presenten en l’article “Biomass accumulation in a biofilter treating toluene at high loads. Part 2: Model development, calibration and validation”. Les principals conclusions del treball es presenten en el capítol 7, a la vegada que s’obre la porta a la continuació del treball amb nous estudis (capítol 8).

  • Study of Denitrification and Reductive Dechlorination Processes Applied to Groundwater Bioremediation  Open access

     Calderer Perich, Montserrat
    Defense's date: 2010-06-23
    Department of Chemical Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
    Theses

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    La present tesi es basa en l'estudi dels processos de bioremediació com a tecnologies de descontaminació d'aqüífers.Concretament, es pretén estudiar la desnitrificació i la decloració reductiva com a tecnologies de bioremediació per eliminar, respectivament, els nitrats i els hidrocarburs alifàtics clorats (o CAHs, de chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons) de les aigües subterrànies contaminades. A més, es pretén aplicar tecnologies avançades que permetin millorar en el coneixement d'aquests processos.L'aqüífer associat a la riera d'Argentona, situat a Argentona (Espanya), ha estat la zona d'estudi per tal d'investigar el procés de desnitrificació. En primer lloc, s'han dut a terme experiments en batch amb aigua subterrània i sòl subsuperficial del mencionat aqüífer. A partir d'aquests primers estudis, s'ha observat la baixa capacitat de l'aqüífer per eliminar els nitrats de manera natural, però alhora s'ha vist la viabilitat d'aplicar un procés de bioremediació com és l'addició de matèria orgànica. Paral·lelament, s'ha estudiat la influència de diferents factors com ara la presència d'oxigen i la tipologia de donador d'electrons sobre el procés de desnitrificació.Posteriorment, s'ha desenvolupat un model matemàtic per descriure el consum d'oxigen, de nitrats i de matèria orgànica per part de la població microbiana facultativa i heterotròfica present en el material d'aqüífer. Alguns paràmetres del model han estat calibrats i s'ha estudiat la qualitat d'aquests paràmetres. El model desenvolupat constitueix una primera aproximació per tal d'obtenir un model de desnitrificació in situ.Per tal d'avançar en l'estudi del procés de desnitrificació en condicions naturals, s'han realitzat experiments en dinàmic simulant el flux d'aigua subterrània a través de l'aqüífer. L'eficiència d'injectar matèria orgànica en aquestes condicions s'ha demostrat.Paral·lelament, s'han estudiat els efectes hidrodinàmics de l'aplicació de la bioremediació i, els resultats han demostrat la importància de dissenyar acuradament les tecnologies de bioremediació a escala de camp. Per altra banda, s'ha descrit la desnitrificació en condicions dinàmiques integrant en un model matemàtic les reaccions bioquímiques i els processos de transport que tenen lloc a la columna experimental.Finalment, s'han aplicat les noves tecnologies de biologia molecular per entendre els efectes de l'aplicació d'un procés de bioremediació a nivell microbià. Per una banda, l'aplicació de la tècnica de la reacció en cadena de la polimerasa a temps real (o real-time PCR, de real-time polymerase chain reaction) ha demostrat el creixement de la població microbiana i, concretament, de la població desnitrificant en el material d'aqüífer estimulat. Per altra banda, l'electroforesi en gel de gradient desnaturalitzant (o DGGE, de denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis) ha permès investigar els canvis en la població microbiana indígena del material d'aqüífer a causa de l'estimulació amb matèria orgànica.Amb l'objectiu d'avançar en el coneixement dels processos de bioremediació en aigües subterrànies, s'ha estudiat també la decloració reductiva de CAHs. En aquest cas, s'han aplicat metodologies experimentals destinades a l'estudi de la posible aplicació d'una barrera reactiva permeable per eliminar una ploma que conté majoritàriament cis-1,2-dicloroetilè i clorur de vinil, i que flueix cap al riu Zenne, prop de la ciutat de Brussel·les (Bèlgica).L'estudi ha inclòs experiments en batch per tal d'investigar el potencial degradatiu del material d'aqüífer i dels propis sediments del riu Zenne. Així mateix, també s'han dut a terme experiments en columna que simulaven el flux d'aigua subterrània a través dels sediments del riu o del material d'aqüífer. Els resultats han demostrat el gran potencial degradatiu dels sediments, que a la llarga es podrien potenciar com a biobarrera natural del sistema per tal de prevenir que les aigües contaminades arribin a l'aigua superficial del riu Zenne.

    This thesis is based on the study of bioremediation processes as reliable technologies to remove contaminants from groundwater.Specifically, it is aimed to study denitrification and reductive dechlorination as bioremediation technologies to remove nitrates and chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons (CAHs), respectively, from polluted groundwater. In addition, it is aimed to apply advanced technologies which allow improving on the knowledge of these processes.The aquifer associated to the Stream Argentona, located in Argentona, Catalunya (Spain), was selected as study site to investigate the denitrification process. In the first part, microcosm experiments containing groundwater and subsoil from the aquifer were performed. From these first studies it was observed the low capacity of the aquifer to eliminate nitrates under natural conditions, but, at the same time, it was noted the feasibility of applying a bioremediation process such as the addition of organic matter. In addition, the influence of different factors such as the presence of oxygen and the type of electron donor on the denitrification process was studied.Afterwards, a mathematical model was developed to explain the microbiological processes that occur when stimulating the aquifer material with an organic carbon source. The model could successfully explain the consumption of oxygen, nitrates and organic matter by the indigenous facultative heterotrophic microbial population from aquifer. Some parameters of the model were calibrated from experimental data and the quality of these parameters was investigated. The developed model constitutes a first approach in order to have reliable models for in situ denitrification.In order to advance in the study of the denitrification process in natural conditions, dynamic experiments were carried out simulating the groundwater flow through the aquifer. The efficiency of injecting organic matter under these conditions was demonstrated. At the same time, hydrodynamic effects of the process were observed, indicating the importance to design properly bioremediation technologies before its application in field-scale. Furthermore, an integrated model coupling the biochemical reactions and the transport processes inside the column was developed and applied to describe denitrification under dynamic conditions.Finally, molecular microbiological techniques were applied to investigate microbial changes due to the application of enhanced denitrification. On the one hand, real-time polymerase chain reaction (real-time PCR) assays revealed the growth of microbial population, specially of denitrifying bacteria in aquifer material stimulated with an organic carbon source. On the other hand, the denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) method allowed to investigate changes in the indigenous microbial community due to the amendment with organic matter.In order to advance in the knowledge of bioremediation processes in groundwater, reductive dechlorination of CAHs in groundwater was studied. In this case, experiments at laboratory scale were applied, aimed to study the possible application of a permeable reactive barrier (PRB) to eliminate a CAH-contaminated plume, containing basically cis-1,2-dichloroethene and vinyl chloride, which flows to the River Zenne near Brussels, Belgium.The study included batch experiments in order to investigate the degradation potential in aquifer and sediments of the River Zenne, as well as column experiments which simulated the groundwater flow through the sediments of the river or the aquifer material. The results demonstrated the high degradation potential of the sediments, which in the long term could be enhanced to act as a natural biobarrier of the system in order to prevent groundwater contaminants from arriving at the surface water of the River Zenne.

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     Sole Sardans, M. Montserrat; Bonsfills Pedros, Ana; Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Gamisans Noguera, Javier
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     Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Lafuente, Javier; Gamisans Noguera, Javier; Gabriel, David
    Journal of hazardous materials
    Date of publication: 2010-08-15
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     Maestre, Juan P.; Rovira, Rosario; Alvarez Hornos, F. J.; Fortuny, M; Lafuente, J; Gamisans Noguera, Javier; Gabriel, David
    Chemosphere
    Date of publication: 2010-08
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