Thesis Title: STUDY OF DIFERENT BIOREACTORS CONFIGURATION AND PACKING MATERIALS FOR THE TREATMENT OF COMPLEX MIXTURES OF VOLATILE ORGANIC AND INORGANIC COMPOUNDS.
Summary: The main objective was to give an answer to several requirements observed at industrial facilities. These requirements ended up in several studies, where different novel and classic packing materials were evaluated under different configurations of bioreactor for the treatment of complex mixtures.
With this purpose as the main aim the following scientific contributions were achieved:
Physico chemical characterization of the packing materials employed along the thesis.
Development of a methodology for the manufacture of a new hybrid material constituted by a spherical argyle pellets covered with a fine layer of compost for its use in conventional biofilters.
Evaluate the influence of using several enriched cultures as inocula on the treatment of a complex mixture with the new hybrid packing material versus a classical packing material such as pine bark. The pollutants were NH3 and a mixture of six volatile organic compounds, COVs (hexanal, α-pinene, DMS (dimethyl sulphide), DMDS (dimethyl disulphide), MIBK (methyl isobutyl ketone) and butyric acid). These compounds were selected as they regularly appear in emissions of municipal solid waste treatment facilities.
Study the feasibility of pine and poplar wood in biotrickling filters treating a complex mixture, composed by ethylmercaptan (EM), butyric acid, NH3 and H2S, during a period of operation of almost 100 days in terms of removal efficiency, stability and pressure drop.
Carry out a crossed effect study between NH3, H2S and EM in two biotrickling filters packed with poplar wood and polyurethane foam, by means of the increase of the concentration of N- species (NH4+, NO2- and NO3-) and S-species (SO42- and S2-) in the liquid phase of the biotrickling filters.
Study the evolution of the bacterial community of a lab-scale biotrickling filter packed with polyurethane foam treating a complex mixture (NH3, H2S and EM) by means of FISH technique (fluorescence in situ hybridization). This study was applied in order to describe microbial composition and dynamics along the bioreactor treating complex mixtures.