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Biological technologies for the treatment of atmospheric pollutants

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Most industrial activities emit atmospheric pollutants nowadays. Many of these activities are performed in stationary hotspots such as chemical industry facilities, wastewater and solid waste treatment plants. Other important stationary sources of gas pollutants include facilities for mining, intensive livestock farming and rendering. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), odours and greenhouse gases are released from the above-mentioned sources, leading to issues related to global warming, health disorders and complaints to public administrations due to odour annoyance. When the release of atmospheric pollutants cannot be prevented, the sort of pollutants, their concentration and the flow rate of the waste gas emission must be characterised in order to select the most cost-effective treatment technology. Over the last decades, the use of biological technologies for the treatment of atmospheric pollutants has gradually increased due to their proven robustness, high cost-effectiveness and low environmental impact. The fundamentals of the most commonly implemented biological technologies in industrial applications (biofiltration, biotrickling filtration, bioscrubbing and activated sludge diffusion) are described in this work. The latest findings in the field of biological technologies for air pollution control are also presented and discussed.
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Keywords: atmospheric pollutants; biological gas treatment; greenhouse gases; odours; volatile organic compounds

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Chemical Engineering and Environmental Technology, University of Valladolid, Valladolid, 47011, Spain 2: Ecole des Mines d’Alès, Centre de Recherches Louis Leprince-Ringuet, LGEI, . Alès, 30319, cedex, France

Publication date: August 9, 2015

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