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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.

  • Inventory and treatment of compost maturation emissions in a municipal solid waste treatment facilyty

     Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Husni, Shakik; Pascual, Guillem; Puigdellivol, Carles; Gabriel, David
    Waste management
    Date of publication: 2014-02
    Journal article

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    Emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the compost maturation building in a municipal solid waste treatment facility were inventoried by solid phase microextraction and gas chromatography¿mass spectrometry. A large diversity of chemical classes and compounds were found. The highest concentrations were found for n-butanol, methyl ethyl ketone and limonene (ppmv level). Also, a range of compounds exceeded their odor threshold evidencing that treatment was needed. Performance of a chemical scrubber followed by two parallel biofilters packed with an advanced packing material and treating an average airflow of 99,300 m3 h-1 was assessed in the treatment of the VOCs inventoried. Performance of the odor abatement system was evaluated in terms of removal efficiency by comparing inlet and outlet abundances. Outlet concentrations of selected VOCs permitted to identify critical odorants emitted to the atmosphere. In particular, limonene was found as the most critical VOC in the present study. Only six compounds from the odorant group were removed with efficiencies higher than 90%. Low removal efficiencies were found for most of the compounds present in the emission showing a significant relation with their chemical properties (functionality and solubility) and operational parameters (temperature, pH and inlet concentration). Interestingly, benzaldehyde and benzyl alcohol were found to be produced in the treatment system.

  • 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.

  • 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)

  • 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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  • Eficacia de las tecnologías de reducción de olores en la red de alcantarillado de Sídney (Australia)

     Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Stuetz, R.
    Conferencia sobre Gestión de Olores en el Medio Ambiente
    Presentation's date: 2012-11-27
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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
    Presentation of work at congresses

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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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  • Fira del Coneixement 2011

     Grau Vilalta, Maria Dolors; Font Soldevila, Jose; Dorado Castaño, Antonio David
    Collaboration in exhibitions

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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
    Collaboration in exhibitions

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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
    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
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    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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  • 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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  • 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).

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  • The role of water in the performance of biofilters: parameterization of pressure drop and sorption capacities for common packing materials

     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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  • Development of a kinetic model for elemental sulfur and sulfate formation from the autotrophic sulfide oxidation using respirometric techniques

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    Water practice and technology
    Date of publication: 2009
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  • Evaluation of mass transfer coefficients in biotrickling filters: experimental determination and comparison to correlations

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    Chemical engineering and technology
    Date of publication: 2009-09
    Journal article

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

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    International Conference on Biotechniques for Air Pollution Control
    Presentation's date: 2009-09
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Modeling of a bacterial and fungal biofilter applied to toluene abatement: Kinetic parameters estimation and model validation

     Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Baquerizo, G; Maestre, J P; Gamisans Noguera, Javier; Gabriel Buguña, David; Lafuente, J
    Chemical engineering journal
    Date of publication: 2008-07
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  • Development of a kinetic model for elemental sulfur and sulfate formation from the autotrophic sulfide oxidation using respirometric techniques

     González, Armando; Tomàs, Maria; Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Gamisans Noguera, Javier; Guisasola, Albert; Lafuente, Javier; Gabriel, David
    IWA International Conference on Odour and Volatile Organic Compounds
    Presentation's date: 2008-10-08
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  • Evaluation of sludge-based carbon as packing material in biofiltration in comparison to classic materials

     Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Hernández, J; Ribera, G; Gabriel Buguña, David; Lafuente, J; Gamisans Noguera, Javier
    IWA International Conference on Odour and Volatile Organic Compounds
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • A comparative study of the characteristics and physical behaviour of different packing materials commonly used in biofiltration

     Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Gamisans Noguera, Javier; Gabriel, David; Lafuente, Javier
    Date of publication: 2007
    Book chapter

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  • A comparative study of the characteristics and physical behaviour of different packing materials commonly used in biofiltration

     Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Lafuente Sancho, Francisco Javier; Gamisans Noguera, Javier
    Biotechniques for Air Pollution Control
    Presentation's date: 2007-10-03
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Activitats del grup de recerca de tractament de contaminants gasosos i olors del departament d¿EMRN

     Baquerizo, Guillermo; Bonsfills Pedros, Ana; Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Gamisans Noguera, Javier; Lao Luque, Concepcion; Sole Sardans, M. Montserrat
    Date of publication: 2006-04-20
    Book chapter

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  • Anàlisi de sensibilitat en la modelització d¿un biofiltre pel tractament de toluè

     Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Baquerizo, Guillermo; Gabriel, David; Lafuente Sancho, Francisco Javier; Gamisans Noguera, Javier
    Date of publication: 2006-04-20
    Book chapter

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     Gamisans Noguera, Javier; Dorado Castaño, Antonio David; Lao Luque, Concepcion; Bonsfills Pedros, Ana; Sole Sardans, M. Montserrat
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