Abiotic Ammonia Mass Transfer in a Biotrickling Filter


Abiotic ammonia mass transfer phenomena within a novel biotrickling filter was investigated. The wastestream consists of graywater (hygiene, shower, laundry and food prep water) and waste gas from an upstream solids treatment unit. The bioprocessor is designed to promote absorption of waste gas and biodegradation of contaminants. Following the assumption that advection, diffusion and subsequent bioreaction(s) are independent, transport processes may be analyzed separately and thus only the abiotic mass transfer of ammonia and the effect of surfactants are considered herein. Operating conditions included various gas-phase and liquid-phase flowrates. The experiments were conducted in the presence and absence of the three surfactants of concern, one amphoteric, one anionic, and one nonionic to determine the effect of the surfactants on waste gas absorption. Results indicated that surfactants did not play a significant role in the abiotic mass transfer of ammonia within the system (p-value = 0.998). The data were analyzed using various mass transfer correlations to ensure the validity of this conclusion. Multicomponent gas mixtures and the presence of biofilm(s) during future studies may potentially alter ammonia mass transfer and future research will take this into account.

Description:9 pages


Conference Proceedings Paper from Earth & Space 2006: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Challenging Environment


ammonia, sulfide, kinetics, model

Date of this Version

March 2006



Publisher Identifier:

American Society of Civil Engineers, Earth and Space, 1-9. DOI: 10.1061/40830(188)42


American Society of Civil Engineers

ALS NSCORT Project Number

Project 6 - Bio-Regenerative Environmental Treatment for Health-air and water (BREATHe 1)

Project Lead

M. Katherine Banks




Published Materials

Administrative Contact

Dave Kotterman, dkotter@purdue.edu


Copyright 2006 American Society of Civil Engineers. For more information please visit the publisher's copyright policy website at: http://pubs.asce.org/copyright/ or the publisher's home page at: http://pubs.asce.org


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