Source: RUTGERS, THE STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW JERSEY submitted to
REMOVAL OF AMMONIA, HYDROGEN SULFIDE, AND VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS FROM AIR THROUGH BIOFILTRATION
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
TERMINATED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0156324
Grant No.
(N/A)
Project No.
NJ07131
Proposal No.
(N/A)
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
(N/A)
Project Start Date
Sep 30, 2003
Project End Date
Sep 30, 2009
Grant Year
(N/A)
Project Director
Strom, P. F.
Recipient Organization
RUTGERS, THE STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW JERSEY
3 RUTGERS PLZA
NEW BRUNSWICK,NJ 08901-8559
Performing Department
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
Non Technical Summary
Biofiltration is potentially a cost effective means of air pollutant emission control. The ongoing work helps extend the range of contaminants for which biofiltration can be used. Also, through better understanding of the biological and physical-chemical processes involved, increased efficiency can be achieved.
Animal Health Component
50%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
50%
Applied
50%
Developmental
(N/A)
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
13304102020100%
Knowledge Area
133 - Pollution Prevention and Mitigation;

Subject Of Investigation
0410 - Air;

Field Of Science
2020 - Engineering;
Goals / Objectives
Objectives: The objectives of this project are: 1. complete the work on ammonia treatment; 2. investigate the use of biofilters for methane removal, including use as biocovers at landfills; 3. determine the influence of C/N on biofilter performance; 4. observe how hydrogen sulfide is removed, and how it affects removal of other gases; and 5. examine the response of biofilters to gas mixtures.
Project Methods
Experimental chambers: four, each with a working capacity of 14 liters; Temperature control: 28oC + /-1oC (nominal temperature). Gas source (e.g. ammonia): 95%N2 -5%NH3, as analyzed and certified by the supplier. Gas delivery: mass flow controllers (one per chamber), precision +/- 5%. Ambient air humidification: saturation at excessive) high temperature, then cooled to exact experimental temperature. Exit traps (e.g., ammonia sequentially through three gas washing bottles containing strong sulfuric acid.

Progress 09/30/03 to 09/30/09

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Biofiltration is a relatively new cost effective means of air pollutant emission control, and its application is increasing. It has been especially useful for odors, particularly from composting and other waste management facilities, but also is being employed for a variety of industrial emissions. Ammonia control applications have been somewhat problematic, yet may increase dramatically in response to newly implemented Clean Air Act requirements. Ethylene is of concern in some intense greenhouse growing conditions and for fresh food storage. Methane is important in mines and as a fugitive emission from landfills, with substantial greenhouse gas implications. The broad objective of this work is to systematically study and further develop this biological air treatment system. In biofiltration, the contaminated gas stream is passed through a moist solid support material that contains nutrients and enriched microbial communities capable of utilizing the contaminants, resulting in their treatment. Work began with two model compounds, ammonia and ethylene, then progressed to treatment of other compounds and defined mixtures. Lab-scale (typically 14 L with air flow of about 7 L/min) reactors were constructed and used. Ammonia was chosen because of its importance in NASA's advanced life support systems and other enclosed environments, as well as in some waste treatment, agricultural, and industrial systems, and because the products of its transformation accumulate. Ethylene has dramatic effects on plants even at very low concentrations (<50 ppb), yet is difficult to treat because of its low water solubility. These studies are completed and the findings published and/or presented. Studies on the effectiveness of rinsing of biofilters for removal of inorganic nitrogen compounds also are completed. Methane treatment initially was not as successful. Mixtures of ammonia and methane were treated to test the ability of biofilters to remove methane and see the effect of carbon to nitrogen ratio on efficiency. Because of the interaction between these two compounds on a biochemical level (both oxidized by mono-oxygenases), ethanol also was treated as another (simpler) model organic compound. In addition to the problems posed by its very low water solubility, methane treatment was slowed by nitrogen limitations after several weeks of operation. Co-treatment of ethanol with methane did not improve methane removal under the conditions tested. A dynamic mathematical simulation model was developed to incorporate this information. It examines inlet contaminant concentration, gas residence time, compound hydrophobicity, mass transfer rates, biofilter surface area, biomass growth, and nitrogen limitations. PARTICIPANTS: Not relevant to this project. TARGET AUDIENCES: The target audiences for this work are pollution control and treatment professionals. These groups are reached by presentations at industry and professional meetings, and through publications. The audience also includes upper level students who intend to become these professionals. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Not relevant to this project.

Impacts
Biofiltration is a cost effective means of air pollutant emission control. The ongoing work helps extend the range of contaminants and situations for which biofiltration can be used. Also, through better understanding of the biological and physical-chemical processes involved, increased efficiency can be achieved. The dynamic mathematical model developed is expected to be of assistance in efficient design and operation of biofilters. The work on methane specifically may help to reduce emissions of this very important greenhouse gas, and may also serve as a model for treatment of other poorly-water soluble compounds.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 01/01/08 to 12/31/08

Outputs
OUTPUTS: The results of this project to date have been incorporated in the class Biological Waste Treatment. The graduate students in this class are or will become the professional scientists and engineers who implement pollution control strategies. Historically this class has not included biological air treatment technologies. PARTICIPANTS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period. TARGET AUDIENCES: The target audiences for this work are pollution control and treatment professionals. These groups are reached by presentations at industry and professional meetings, and through publications. The audience also has been expanded to include upper level students who intend to become these professionals, and who can be reached through class presentations. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
Biofiltration is a relatively new cost effective means of air pollutant emission control, and its application is increasing. It has been especially useful for odors, particularly from composting and other waste management facilities, but also is being employed for a variety of industrial emissions. Ammonia control applications have been somewhat problematic, yet may increase dramatically in response to newly implemented Clean Air Act requirements. Ethylene is of concern in some intense greenhouse growing conditions and for fresh food storage. Methane is important in mines and as a fugitive emission from landfills, with substantial greenhouse gas implications. The broad objective of this work is to systematically study and further develop this biological air treatment system. In biofiltration, the contaminated gas stream is passed through a moist solid support material that contains nutrients and enriched microbial communities capable of utilizing the contaminants, resulting in their treatment. Work began with two model compounds, ammonia and ethylene, then progressed to treatment of other compounds and defined mixtures. Lab-scale (typically 14 L with air flow of about 7 L/min) reactors were constructed and used. Ammonia was chosen because of its importance in NASA's advanced life support systems and other enclosed environments, as well as in some waste treatment, agricultural, and industrial systems, and because the products of its transformation accumulate. Ethylene has dramatic effects on plants even at very low concentrations (<50 ppb), yet is difficult to treat because of its low water solubility. These studies are completed and the findings published and/or presented. Studies on the effectiveness of rinsing of biofilters for removal of inorganic nitrogen compounds also are completed. Methane treatment initially was not as successful. Mixtures of ammonia and methane were treated to test the ability of biofilters to remove methane and see the effect of carbon to nitrogen ratio on efficiency. Because of the interaction between these two compounds on a biochemical level (both oxidized by mono-oxygenases), ethanol also was treated as another (simpler) model organic compound. In addition to the problems posed by its very low water solubility, methane treatment was slowed by nitrogen limitations after several weeks of operation. Co-treatment of ethanol with methane did not improve methane removal under the conditions tested. A dynamic mathematical simulation model was developed to incorporate this information. It examines inlet contaminant concentration, gas residence time, compound hydrophobicity, mass transfer rates, biofilter surface area, biomass growth, and nitrogen limitations. Completion of the two remaining publications is anticipated soon. The project is expected to further the use of biofiltration for control of a variety of compounds, and to have applications for landfill biocovers and indoor air quality, as well as industrial emission control.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 01/01/07 to 12/31/07

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Biofiltration is a cost effective means of air pollutant emission control, and its application is increasing. It has been especially useful for odors, particularly from composting and other waste management facilities, but also is being employed for a variety of industrial emissions. Ammonia control applications have been somewhat problematic, yet may increase dramatically in response to newly implemented Clean Air Act requirements. Ethylene is of concern in some intense greenhouse growing conditions and for fresh food storage. Methane is important in mines and as a fugitive emission from landfills, with substantial greenhouse gas implications. The broad objective of this work is to systematically study and further develop this biological air treatment system. In biofiltration, the contaminated gas stream is passed through a moist solid support material that contains nutrients and enriched microbial communities capable of utilizing the contaminants, resulting in their treatment. Work began with two model compounds, ammonia and ethylene, then progressed to treatment of other compounds and defined mixtures. Lab-scale (typically 14 L with air flow of about 7 L/min) were constructed and used. Ammonia was chosen because of its importance in NASA's advanced life support systems and other enclosed environments, as well as in some waste treatment, agricultural, and industrial systems, and because the products of its transformation accumulate. Ethylene has dramatic effects on plants even at very low concentrations (<50 ppb), yet is difficult to treat because of its low water solubility. These studies are completed and the findings published and/or presented. Studies on the effectiveness of rinsing of biofilters for removal of inorganic nitrogen compounds also are completed. Methane treatment initially was not as successful. Mixtures of ammonia and methane were treated to test the ability of biofilters to remove methane and see the effect of carbon to nitrogen ratio on efficiency. Because of the interaction between these two compounds on a biochemical level (both oxidized by mono-oxygenases), ethanol also was treated as another (simpler) model organic compound. In addition to the problems posed by its very low water solubility, methane treatment was slowed by nitrogen limitations after several weeks of operation. Co-treatment of ethanol with methane did not improve methane removal under the conditions tested. A dynamic mathematical simulation model was developed to incorporate this information. It examines inlet contaminant concentration, gas residence time, compound hydrophobicity, mass transfer rates, biofilter surface area, biomass growth, and nitrogen limitations. Final data analysis continues with remaining publications anticipated soon. The project is expected to further the use of biofiltration for control of a variety of compounds, and to have applications for landfill biocovers and indoor air quality, as well as industrial emission control. PARTICIPANTS: Dr. Peter F. Strom, Professor, PI/PD; Dr. Feng Qiao, Graduate Student, now graduated (January 2007); Dr. John Hogan, former faculty member, now at NASA. TARGET AUDIENCES: The target audiences for this work are pollution control and treatment professionals. These groups are reached by presentations at industry and professional meetings, and through publications.

Impacts
Biofiltration is a cost effective means of air pollutant emission control. The ongoing work helps extend the range of contaminants and situations for which biofiltration can be used. Also, through better understanding of the biological and physical-chemical processes involved, increased efficiency can be achieved. The dynamic mathematical model developed is expected to be of assistance in efficient design and operation of biofilters. The work on methane specifically may help to reduce emissions of this very important greenhouse gas, and may also serve as a model for treatment of other poorly-water soluble compounds.

Publications

  • Strom, P.F. 2007. Intro to Biofiltration for Emissions Control. Invited presentation for 2nd Innovative Environmental Technology Conference, Session II: Air Monitoring & Emission Control Technologies, Environmental Business Council of the Commerce & Industry Assoc. of New Jersey, Newark, NJ.


Progress 01/01/06 to 12/31/06

Outputs
Biofiltration is a cost effective means of air pollutant emission control, and its application continues to increase. It has been especially useful for control of odorous emissions, particularly from composting and other waste management facilities, but also is becoming widely employed for control of a variety of industrial process emissions. Ammonia control applications have been somewhat problematic, yet may increase dramatically in response to newly implemented Clean Air Act requirements. Ethylene is of concern in some intense greenhouse growing conditions and for fresh food storage. Methane is important in mines and as a fugitive emission from landfills, which has substantial greenhouse gas implications The broad objective of this work is to systematically study and develop this biological air treatment system. In biofiltration, a humidified air stream containing the contaminant(s) is passed through a moist solid support material that contains micronutrients and enriched microbial communities capable of utilizing the contaminant, resulting in its mineralization or transformation. Work began with two model compounds, ammonia and ethylene, then progressed to treatment of other compounds and defined mixtures. Ammonia was chosen because of its importance in NASA's advanced life support systems and in other enclosed environments, as well as in some waste treatment, agricultural, and industrial systems, and because the products of its biotransformation accumulate in the system. Ethylene was chosen because it can have dramatic effects on plants even at very low concentrations (<50 ppb), yet is difficult to treat because of its low water solubility. These studies have been completed, and many of the results published. Studies on the effectiveness of rinsing for removal of inorganic nitrogen compounds from perlite and from Martian regolith simulant JSC-1 also have been completed. In the phase of the work underway now, mixtures of ammonia and methane have been treated to test the ability of biofilters to treat methane and see the effect of carbon to nitrogen ratio on removal efficiencies. Because of the interaction between these two compounds on a biochemical level (both oxidized by mono-oxygenases), ethanol has been treated as another model organic compound. In addition to the problems posed by its very low water solubility, methane treatment was slowed by nitrogen limitations after several weeks of operation. CO-treatment of ethanol with methane did not improve methane removal under the conditions tested. A dynamic mathematical simulation model was developed to incorporate the information learned so far. It examines inlet contaminant concentration, gas residence time, compound hydrophobicity, mass transfer rates, biofilter surface area, biomass growth, and nitrogen limitations. The project is expected to further the use of biofiltration for control of a variety of compounds, and to have applications for landfill gas control biocovers and for maintaining indoor air quality, as well as for emission control.

Impacts
Biofiltration is a cost effective means of air pollutant control. The ongoing work helps extend the range of contaminants and situations for which biofiltration can be used. Also, through better understanding of the biological and physical-chemical processes involved, increased efficiency can be achieved. The dynamic mathematical model developed is expected to be of assistance in efficient design and operation of biofilters. The work on methane specifically may help to reduce emissions of this very important greenhouse gas, and may also serve as a model for treatment of other poorly-water soluble compounds.

Publications

  • Qiao, F. 2007. Biofilter Removal of Methane from Contaminated Air. Ph.D. Thesis, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ.


Progress 01/01/05 to 12/31/05

Outputs
Biofiltration is a cost effective means of air pollutant emission control, and its application continues to increase. It has been especially useful for control of odorous emissions, particularly from composting and other waste management facilities, but also is becoming widely employed for control of a variety of industrial process emissions. Ammonia control applications have been somewhat problematic, yet may increase dramatically in response to newly implemented Clean Air Act requirements. Ethylene is of concern in some intense greenhouse growing conditions and for fresh food storage. Methane is important in mines and as a fugitive emission from landfills, which has substantial greenhouse gas implications The broad objective of this work is to systematically study and develop this biological air treatment system. In biofiltration, a humidified air stream containing the contaminant(s) is passed through a moist solid support material that contains micronutrients and enriched microbial communities capable of utilizing the contaminant, resulting in its mineralization or transformation. Work began with two model compounds, ammonia and ethylene, then progressed to treatment of other compounds and defined mixtures. Ammonia was chosen because of its importance in NASA's advanced life support systems and in other enclosed environments, as well as in some waste treatment, agricultural, and industrial systems, and because the products of its biotransformation accumulate in the system. Ethylene was chosen because it can have dramatic effects on plants even at very low concentrations (<50 ppb), yet is difficult to treat because of its low water solubility. These studies have been completed, and many of the results published. Studies on the effectiveness of rinsing for removal of inorganic nitrogen compounds from perlite and from Martian regolith simulant JSC-1 also have been completed. In the phase of the work underway now, mixtures of ammonia and methane have been treated to see the effect of carbon to nitrogen ratio on removal efficiencies. Because of the interaction between these two compounds on a biochemical level (both oxidized by mono-oxygenases), ethanol has been treated as another model organic compound. In addition to the problems posed by its very low water solubility, methane treatment appears to be slowed by nitrogen limitations after several weeks of operation. A dynamic mathematical simulation model is being developed to incorporate the information learned so far. It examines inlet contaminant concentration, gas residence time, compound hydrophobicity, mass transfer rates, biomass growth, and nitrogen limitations. The project is expected to further the use of biofiltration for control of a variety of compounds, and to have applications for landfill gas control biocovers and for maintaining indoor air quality, as well as for emission control.

Impacts
Biofiltration is a cost effective means of air pollutant control. The ongoing work helps extend the range of contaminants and situations for which biofiltration can be used. Also, through better understanding of the biological and physical-chemical processes involved, increased efficiency can be achieved.

Publications

  • Ramirez-Perez, J.C., P.F. Strom, & J.A. Hogan. 2006. Aerobic Biodegradation Kinetics of Inedible Biomass and Resource Recovery for Advanced Life Support Systems Applications. Accepted for Presentation, Habitation 2006, Orlando, FL. Abstract OTR15.


Progress 01/01/04 to 12/31/04

Outputs
Biofiltration is a cost effective means of air pollution control, and its application continues to increase. It has been especially useful for odorous emissions from waste management facilities, but is becoming widely employed for control of a variety of industrial process emissions. Ammonia control applications have been somewhat problematic, yet may increase dramatically in response to newer Clean Air Act requirements. Methane is important as a fugitive emission from landfills with substantial greenhouse gas implications. It also is released from many active and inactive mines. The objective of this work is to systematically study and further develop this biological air treatment system. Specific applications also include the control of trace contaminants in enclosed atmospheres of Advance Life Support (ALS) systems on a spacecraft or Mars/Lunar outpost. In biofiltration, a humidified air stream containing the contaminant(s) is passed through a moist solid support material that contains micronutrients and a microbial community capable of utilizing the contaminants, resulting in their mineralization or other transformation. Work began using two model compounds, ammonia and ethylene, and has progressed to treatment of defined mixtures. Ammonia was chosen because of its importance in ALS and other enclosed atmospheres, as well as in some composting and other waste treatment, agricultural, and industrial systems, and because the products of its biotransformation accumulate in the system. Ethylene was chosen because it can have a dramatic effect on plants even at very low concentrations (<50 ppb), yet is difficult to treat because of its low water solubility. Studies on ammonia and ethylene have been completed, and many of the results published. Also completed are studies on rinsing for removal of inorganic nitrogen compounds from perlite and from Martian regolith simulant JSC-1. In work underway, mixtures of ammonia and methane are being treated at different ratios, to see the effect of carbon to nitrogen ratio on removal efficiencies. Because of the interaction between these two compounds on a biochemical level (both oxidized by mono-oxygenases), ethanol is also being treated as another model organic compound. Methane removals have not been as high as achieved with other compounds, and the reason for this is being investigated. Ammonium, nitrate, and organic nitrogen have been tested as nitrogen sources, and it has been decided to use nitrate in future tests. This results in a rise in pH as the nitrate is assimilated, requiring greater buffering for this system but possibly a benefit for acid producing mixtures. Calculations also show that the nitrogen in the bottom layer may be depleted within 19 days, possibly slowing further growth of methanotrophs. The basic information obtained in this project is expected to further application of biofiltration for control for a variety of compounds. The on-going work will help to optimize treatment of mixed gases, the most common but least understood situation. It is expected to have applications for landfill gas control biocovers and for maintaining indoor air quality, as well as for emission control.

Impacts
Biofiltration is a cost effective means of air pollutant control. The ongoing work helps extend the range of contaminants and situations for which biofiltration can be used. Also, through better understanding of the biological and physical-chemical processes involved, increased efficiency can be achieved.

Publications

  • Ramirez-Perez, J., J.A. Hogan, & P.F. Strom. 2004. Development and Application of a Respirometric Technique to Assess the Stability of Compost for Advanced Life Support Systems. Poster presentation, Habitation 2004, Orlando FL. Abstract MC41.


Progress 01/01/03 to 12/31/03

Outputs
Biofiltration is potentially a cost effective means of air pollutant emission control, and its application continues to increase. It has been especially useful for control of odorous emissions, particularly from waste management facilities, but also is becoming widely employed for control of a variety of industrial process emissions. Ammonia control applications have been somewhat problematic, yet may increase dramatically in response to newly implemented Clean Air Act requirements. Ethylene is of concern in some intense greenhouse growing conditions, but more commonly for fresh food storage (e.g., during transport). Methane is important as a fugitive emission from landfills with substantial greenhouse gas implications The objective of this work is to systematically study and develop a biological air treatment system. Specific applications include the control of trace contaminants in enclosed atmospheres of Advance Life Support (ALS) systems on a spacecraft or Mars/Lunar outpost. In biofiltration, a humidified air stream containing the contaminant(s) is passed through a moist solid support material that contains micronutrients and enriched microbial communities capable of utilizing the contaminant as a carbon and/or energy source, resulting in the mineralization or transformation of the contaminant. Work began using two model compounds, ammonia and ethylene, and has progressed to treatment of defined mixtures. Ammonia was chosen because of its importance in ALS and other enclosed environment atmospheres, as well as in some composting and other waste treatment, agricultural, and industrial systems, and because the products of its biotransformation accumulate in the system. Ethylene was chosen because it can have a dramatic effect on plants even at very low concentrations (<50 ppb), yet is difficult to treat because of its low water solubility. All studies regarding ammonia and ethylene have been completed, and many of the results are available in published form. Studies on the effectiveness of rinsing for removal of inorganic nitrogen compounds from perlite and from Martian regolith simulant JSC-1 also have been completed. In the phase of the work underway now, mixtures of ammonia and methane are being treated at different ratios, to see the effect of carbon to nitrogen ratio on removal efficiencies. Because of the interaction between these two compounds on a biochemical level (both oxidized by mono-oxygenases), ethanol is also being treated as another model organic compound. The basic information obtained in this project is expected to further applications of biofiltration for control for a variety of compounds. The on-going work will help to optimize treatment of mixed gases, which is the most common but least understood situation. It is expected to have applications for landfill gas control biocovers and for maintaining indoor air quality, as well as for emission control.

Impacts
Biofiltration is a cost effective means of air pollutant control. The ongoing work helps extend the range of contaminants and situations for which biofiltration can be used. Also, through better understanding of the biological and physical-chemical processes involved, increased efficiency can be achieved.

Publications

  • Qiao, F., J.A. Hogan, and P.F. Strom. 2004. Effect of Ammonia Loading and Media Nitrogen on Methane and Ethanol Biofilter Performance. Presentation, Habitation 2004, Orlando FL. Abstract HLS78.
  • Ramirez-Perez, J., P.F. Strom, & J.A. Hogan. 2004. Composting for Advanced Life Support Systems. Presentation, Habitation 2004, Orlando FL. Abstract HLS51.


Progress 01/01/01 to 12/31/01

Outputs
No progress reported this period

Impacts
Biofiltration is potentially a cost effective means of air pollutant emission control. The ongoing work helps extend the range of contaminants for which biofiltration can be used. Also, through better understanding of the biological and physical-chemical processes involved, increased efficiency can be achieved.

Publications

  • Strom, P.F., J.A. Hogan, & R.M. Cowan. 2002. Biofiltration: Biological Treatment of Contaminated Air. Invited Paper for 87th Annual Meeting, NJ Water Pollution Control Association, Atlantic City, NJ.
  • Hogan, J.A., J. Ramirez, W. Lertsiriyothin, P.F. Strom, & R.M. Cowan. 2001. Integration of Composting, Plant Growth and Biofiltration for Advanced Life Support Systems. Accepted for 31st International Conference on Environmental Systems (ICES), Orlando, FL. Paper No. 01ICES-260.
  • Hogan, J.A., R.M. Cowan, J.C Ramierez-Perez, P.F. Strom. 2001. Biological Treatment of Solid Waste: Composting, Biofiltration of Compost Offgas, and Nutrient Recovery from Compost. Poster presentation, American Society of Gravitational and Space Biology, Alexandria, VA.
  • Cowan, R.M., J.A. Hogan, P.F. Strom, F. Qiao, J.A. Tambwekar. 2001. Development of Biological Technology for Use in Trace Contaminant Control: Biofiltration of Ammonia, Ethylene and an Ersatz ISS Atmosphere. Poster presentation, American Society of Gravitational and Space Biology, Alexandria, VA.
  • Cowan, R.M., J. A. Hogan, & P. F. Strom. 2001. Development of Biological Reactors for Trace Air Contaminant Control. Proceedings, Bioastronautics Investigators' Workshop, Galveston, TX, No. 156.
  • Joshi, J.A., J.A. Hogan, R.W. Cowan, P.F. Strom, & M.S. Finstein. 2000. Biological Removal of Gaseous Ammonia in Biofilters: Space Travel and Earth-Based Applications. J. Air & Waste Management Assoc. 50:1647-1654.
  • Hogan, J.A., M.R. Gilrain, J. Ramirez, R.M. Cowan, & P.F. Strom. 2000. Composting of Advanced Life Support Plant Inedible Biomass: Use of Compost as a Plant Growth Medium and Biofiltration of Exhaust Gases. Paper BLSS 51, 4th International Conference on Life Support & Biosphere Science, Baltimore, MD.
  • Hogan, J.A., W. Lertsiriyothin, R.M. Cowan, & P.F. Strom. 2000. Composting of Advanced Life Support Plant Inedible Biomass: Process Behavior and Exhaust Trace Air Contaminant Analysis. Paper BLSS 52, 4th International Conference on Life Support & Biosphere Science, Baltimore, MD.
  • Li, W., R.M. Cowan, J.A. Hogan, P.F. Strom, & C. Brook. 2000. Biofiltration of an Advanced Life Support Ersatz Gas Mixture. Paper BLSS 54, 4th International Conference on Life Support & Biosphere Science, Baltimore, MD.
  • Tambwekar, J.A., J.A. Hogan, R.M. Cowan, & P.F. Strom. 2000. Nitrogen Limitation and Effect of Ammonium or Nitrate as Nitrogen Sources on the Removal of 1 ppm Ethylene in Air using Biofiltration. Paper BLSS 60, 4th International Conference on Life Support & Biosphere Science, Baltimore, MD.
  • Sakano, Y., K.D. Pickering, P.F. Strom, & L.J. Kerkhof. 2002. Spatial Distribution of Total, Ammonia Oxidizing, and Denitrifying Bacteria in Biological Wastewater Treatment Reactors for Bioregenerative Life Support. Applied & Environmental Microbiology 68:2285-2293.
  • Tambwekar, J.A., J.A. Hogan, R.M. Cowan and P.F. Strom. 2000. Biofiltration of Trace Concentrations of Ethylene: Effect of Ammonium vs. Nitrate as a Nitrogen Source. Poster presented at 93rd Annual Conference of Air & Waste Management Association, Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • Tambwekar, J.A., J.A. Hogan, R.M. Cowan and P.F. Strom. 2000. Biofiltration of Trace Concentrations of Ethylene: Nitrogen Limitation and effect of Ammonium vs. Nitrate as a Nitrogen Source. Awarded 1st Prize for Best Poster at the 85th Annual New Jersey Water Environment Association Conference, Atlantic City, NJ.
  • Tambwekar, J.A., J.A. Hogan, R.M. Cowan and P.F. Strom. 2000. Nitrogen Limitation and Effect of Ammonium or Nitrate as Nitrogen Sources on the Removal of 1ppm Ethylene in Air Using Biofiltration. Awarded Best Paper in the Chemical Engineering Session at the 9th Annual Uni-Tech Student Conference on Science and Technology at New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ.
  • Finstein, M.S., J.A. Hogan, J.C. Sager, R.M. Cowan, & P.F. Strom. 1999. Composting on Mars or the Moon: II: Compatibility of Top-wise Introduction of Waste and Air with Temperature Feedback Control. Life Support & Biosphere Science 6:181-191.
  • Finstein, M.S., P.F. Strom, J.A. Hogan, & R.M. Cowan. 1999. Composting on Mars or the Moon: I: Comparative Evaluation of Process Design Alternatives. Life Support & Biosphere Science 6:169-179.
  • Joshi, J.A., J.A. Hogan, R.M. Cowan, P.F. Strom, & M.S. Finstein. 1998. Biological Removal of Ammonia in Biofilters. 3rd International Conference on Life Support & Biosphere Science (LSBS), Lake Buena Vista, FL.
  • Cowan, R.M., J. Russell, & P.F. Strom. 1998. Removal of Volatile Organics from Air Using Bioreactors: Theoretical Aspects and Modeling. Biological Removal of Ammonia in Biofilters. 3rd International Conf. on LSBS, Lake Buena Vista, FL.
  • Joshi, J.A., R.M. Cowan, J.A. Hogan, P.F. Strom, M.S. Finstein. 1998. Nitrous and nitric oxide production by nitrifying enrichment cultures. Poster presented at the 98th Ann. Meeting, Amer. Soc. for Microbiol., Atlanta.
  • Hogan, J.A., R.M. Cowan, J.A. Joshi, P.F. Strom, & M.S. Finstein. 1998. On the Development of Advanced Life Support Systems Maximally Reliant on Biological Systems. 28th International Conference on Environmental Systems (ICES), Danvers, MA, SAE Technical Paper #981535, Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc., Warrendale, PA.
  • Joshi, J.A., R.M. Cowan, J.A. Hogan, P.F. Strom, & M.S. Finstein. 1998. Gaseous Ammonia Removal in Biofilters: Effect of Biofilter Media on Products of Nitrification. 28th ICES, Danvers, MA, SAE Technical Paper #981613, Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc., Warrendale, PA.
  • Tambwekar, J.A., R.M. Cowan, J.A. Joshi, P.F. Strom, & M.S. Finstein. 1998. Removal of Trace Concentrations of Ethylene from Air by Biofiltration: Preliminary Results. 28th ICES, Danvers, MA, SAE Technical Paper #981614, Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc., Warrendale, PA.
  • Tambwekar, J.A., J.A. Joshi, R.M. Cowan, P.F. Strom & M.S. Finstein. 1998. Removal of Trace Levels of Ethylene using Biofiltration: Preliminary Results. Awarded 1st Prize at MASS-A&WMA Student Poster Competition, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Joshi, J.A., J.A. Hogan, R.M. Cowan, P.F. Strom, & M.S. Finstein. 1997. Biological Removal of Ammonia in Biofilters. 90th Annual Meeting of the Air & Waste Management Association, Toronto.
  • Cowan, R.M., J.A. Joshi, P.F. Strom, & M.S. Finstein. 1997. Biological Processes for Air Trace Contaminant Control in ALS. 27th ICES, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, SAE Technical Paper #972552, Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc., Warrendale, PA.


Progress 01/01/99 to 12/31/99

Outputs
Four 13L perlite biofilters were challenged with 1 ppm inlet ethylene. Reactors 1 and 2 received 0.032 and 0.333 mg nitrate-N/g dry weight of perlite as the nitrogen source respectively, whereas reactors 3 and 4 received 0.05 and 0.454 mg ammonium-N/g dry weight of perlite, respectively. For reactors 1-4, respectively, termination occurred on days 89, 110, 88 and 109, with lowest observed exit concentrations of 88, 70, 30 and 161 ppb. Only reactor 3 treated ethylene to <40 ppb (12 day period). Results indicate that the lowered nitrogen loading rates did not appear to limit overall ethylene removal. However, a comparison of the stratified ethylene removal and inorganic N data between reactors 1, 2 and 3 suggests that N limitation occurs. Further work needs to be performed to understand the role of microbial nitrification in removing ethylene to <100 ppb. Additionally both ammonium and nitrate can be utilized as N sources, although nitrate requires energy usage by the microorganisms for reduction to incorporate in amino acids. On the other hand, microbial nitrification of ammonium likely caused the substantial drop in pH observed in reactor 4, which could account for decreased performance in relation to the other treatments.

Impacts
BBiofiltration is potentially a cost effective means of air pollutant emission control. The ongoing work helps extend the range of contaminants for which biofiltration can be used. Also, through better understanding of the biological and physical-chemical processes involved, increased efficiency can be achieved.

Publications

  • Finstein, M.S., P.F. Strom, J.A. Hogan, & R.M. Cowan. 1999. Composting on Mars or the Moon: I: Comparative Evaluation of Process Design Alternatives. Life Support and Biosphere Science 6:169-179.
  • Finstein, M.S., J.A. Hogan, J.C. Sager, R.M. Cowan, & P.F. Strom. 1999. Composting on Mars or the Moon: II: Compatibility of Top-wise Introduction of Waste and Air with Temperature Feedback Control. Life Support and Biosphere Science 6:181-191.


Progress 01/01/98 to 12/31/98

Outputs
Operational experience with nitrifying biofilters transforming gaseous ammonia for extended time periods (>100 days) showed more than 99.99% of the inlet ammonia can be removed. In order to determine the size and capacity of biofilters it is important to understand performance through complete failure. Biofilters packed with Perlite yielding working volumes of 3, 6, 9, and 12 L were fed with ammonia in air at a concentration of 50 ppm. It was observed that the 3 L system could function for 92 days before complete breakthrough occurred. The 6L reactor lasted for 196 days. The 9 and 12 L reactors were not run to complete breakthrough. The 12 L reactor was subjected to fluctuating concentrations of inlet ammonia (between 20 and 75 ppm) to observe the effect on nitric oxide and nitrous oxide production. Experimental observations revealed that an increase in inlet ammonia concentration from the current steady state condition led to decreased nitric and nitrous oxide concentrations in the exhaust. The main experimental findings from this study include: biofilters can effectively remove ammonia from air for long time periods; small amounts of nitric and nitrous oxide may be generated; and transformation of high concentrations of ammonia over long time periods can lead to eventual failure through nitrite accumulation.

Impacts
(N/A)

Publications

  • Finstein, M.S. 1998. Realistic Scale Composting Reactor for Martian or Lunar Habitat: Generations I and II. Report to NASA/ASEE Summer Faculty Fellowship Program, at Kennedy Space Center, FL.
  • Hogan, J.A., R.M. Cowan, J.A. Joshi, P.F. Strom, & M.S. Finstein. 1998. On the Development of Advanced Life Support Systems Maximally Reliant on Biological Systems. ICES SAE Technical Paper #981535, SAE, Inc., Warrendale, PA.
  • Joshi, J.A., R.M. Cowan, J.A. Hogan, P.F. Strom, & M.S. Finstein. 1998. Gaseous Ammonia Removal in Biofilters: Effect of Biofilter Media on Products of Nitrification. ICES SAE Technical Paper #981613, SAE, Inc., Warrendale, PA.
  • Tambwekar, J.A., R.M. Cowan, J.A. Joshi, P.F. Strom, & M.S. Finstein. 1998. Removal of Trace Concentrations of Ethylene from Air by Biofiltration: Preliminary Results. ICES SAE Technical Paper #981614, SAE, Inc., Warrendale, PA.
  • Joshi, J.A., J.A. Hogan, R.M. Cowan, P.F. Strom, & M.S. Finstein. 1998. Biological Removal of Ammonia in Biofilters. 3rd International Conference on Life Support & Biosphere Science (LSBS), Lake Buena Vista, FL.
  • Cowan, R.M., J. Russell, & P.F. Strom. 1998. Removal of Volatile Organics from Air Using Bioreactors: Theoretical Aspects and Modeling. Biological Removal of Ammonia in Biofilters. 3rd International Conf. on LSBS, Lake Buena Vista, FL.
  • Joshi, J.A., R.M. Cowan, J.A. Hogan, P.F. Strom, M.S. Finstein. 1998. Nitrous and nitric oxide production by nitrifying enrichment cultures. Poster presented at the 98th Ann. Meeting, Amer. Soc. for Microbiol., Atlanta.


Progress 01/01/97 to 12/31/97

Outputs
Virtually complete ammonia removal at air flows of 6 L/min at wo and 50 ppm ammonia was demostrated for prolonged periods (up to 100 days) in biofilters packed with perlite or leaf compost. Removal mechanisms were mainly nitrification, absorption in the resulting acidity, and biomass synthesis. Small amounts of nitrous and nitric oxides were produced even in well aerated biofilters with low levels of organic matter, presumably through the action of the nutrifying bacteria. Batch experiments utilizing nitrifying enrichment cultures and nitric oxide production. Four additional biofilters were constructed to test ethylene removal. Several ethylene degrading enrichments were developed, then added to perlite as the biofilter matrix material. Two of the biofilters were exposed to concentrations of 1 and 10 ppm ethylene in 6 L/min air flow. Ethylene was removed from the 10 ppm unit to below 0.5 ppm (present detection limit), but not from the 1 ppm unit. When the concentrations fed to the two biofilters were reversed, both soon started removing ethylene to below detection. Development of an analytical method for quantifying lower ethylene concentrations is continuing.

Impacts
(N/A)

Publications

  • Cowan, R.M., J.A. Joshi, P.F. Strom, & M.S. Finstein. 1997. Biological Processes for Air Trace Contaminant Control in ALS. 27th International Conference on Enviromental Systems, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, SAE Technical Paper #972552, Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc.,
  • Joshi, J.A.,J.A. Hogan, R.M.Cowan, P.F. Strom, & M.S. Finstein. 1997. Biological Removal of Ammonia in Biofilters. 90th Annual Meeting of the Air & Waste Management Association, Toronto.


Progress 01/01/96 to 12/30/96

Outputs
Ordinary compressed air (CO2,120ppm; ambient air = 350 ppm) did not support the development of a nitrifying biofilter community using inorganic support matrix (perlite), but CO2- enriched air (500 ppm) did. (The nominal level of CO2 in the atmosphere of an extraterrestrial bioregenerative life support system is about 500 ppm.) Perlite-matrix systems are now into their 50th day of challenge with NH3 inputs of 20 and 50 ppm in the airstream. NH3 has exited from neither system. Mass balance accountability (matrix N as NH4+, NO2-, NO3-) at 20 ppm NH3 is 95-105%, whereas this declined to 70% at 50 ppm. A qualitative observation is that NO (nitric oxide) is exiting the 50 ppm system. This is consistent with the behavior of stressed chemolithoautotrophic nitrifying bacteria. Measurements will be extended to include N2O (nitrous oxide) and quantified. Production of NOX gases suggests that a homogenous biofilter system (perlite matrix) may be unsuitable for a bioregenerative ecosystem. Rather, a microbially more complex biofilter (e.g. nitrifying compost) may be indicated.

Impacts
(N/A)

Publications


    Progress 01/01/95 to 12/30/95

    Outputs
    Biofilters are effective in removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from industrial airstreams, but not ammonia. This is particularly relevant to industrial-scale waste composting because process control maximizing decomposition rate (a rarity) substantially decreases the emissions of VOCs, especially odorous ones, but not that of ammonia. Post-composting removal is therefore necessary. Our approach would exploit nitrification in biofilter materials as the removal mechanism. An existing composting simulation apparatus (Appl. Environ. Microbial. 1989 55:1082) was modified for biofiltration studies. A critical preliminary need was for a realistic means of estimating airstream residence time. The method in general use, based on empty-bed filter volume, does not account for the character of particular filter material ( bulk density particle geometry, size distribution, moisture content), airflow rate, and possible short-circuiting. By introducing N2 to the filled-bed volume and measuring its outlet concentration with time based on oxygen levels, the real minimum, maximum and average residence times are estimated. Next, means of quantitatively introducing ammonia into the system along with complete trapping in the exhaust gas were developed. The modified apparatus, now ready for biofilter experimentation, permits loading rates of from 0.5-0.60 gNH3/kg dry weight/day. Various types of biofilter materials, NH3 loading rates, and airflow rates will be tested.

    Impacts
    (N/A)

    Publications

    • NO PUBLICATIONS REPORTED THIS PERIOD.


    Progress 01/01/94 to 12/30/94

    Outputs
    The immediate cause of composting facility failure (not uncommon) is typically nuisance odors. In obtaining baseline information on volatile compounds generated in composting, the experimental material was a composite of fresh food waste from a university restaurant mixed with a well-stabilized compost similarly derived. The mixture was composted in a laboratory scale (12L) composting physical model simulation device (Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 1989. 55:1082), operated for most of the 470 hr run to maximize the rate of decomposition (e.g., air demanded via temperature feedback control to maintain ceiling <55oC). Though 02 levels in the exhaust gas ranged from 12 to 20% (v/v), the pattern of behavioral characteristics was suggestive of short-circuiting (channeling) during at least part of the time. Hence, the development of anaerobic "pockets" cannot be ruled out. Near termination, for 72 hrs., the system was deliberately 02-starved. On 23 occasions exhaust gas was passed through traps, desorbed and then analyzed through GC/MS. Of the 23 compounds that were tested there was no obvious relationship between detection and deliberate 02-starvation.

    Impacts
    (N/A)

    Publications

    • FINSTEIN, M.S. 1992. Ocean County (NJ) Solid Waste Management Office (M.S. Finstein is one of the authors). Amendment to the Ocean County district solid waste management plan, August 1992.


    Progress 01/01/93 to 12/30/93

    Outputs
    Lack of a good index of compost stability (maturity) interferes with the use of composting as a waste management technology. After considering collective (e.g., respiration) and specific (dehydrogenase) biological test approaches, we conclude that a more promising approach is to develop a collective chemical test procedure. The procedure should target "readily and moderately" metabolizable organic carbon, to the exclusion of nitrogen and other inorganic nutrients. The problems are to operationally define "readily and moderately" in terms of an extraction procedure, and to relate the results of a candidate procedure to plant germination/growth response. Five extractants (water, water-EDTA, neutral detergent fibre, acid detergent fibre, cold ADF) were tested against composts and pure materials differing in availability (glucose, starch, casein, pectin, vegetable oil, gum arabic, cellulose, lignin, humic acid). Only (hot) ADF survived as a candidate in that: it extracted essentially all of the first six materials, some of the cellulose, and little of the last two; it did not pose filtering difficulties. The relationship between the amount of ADF in compost and plant response is being investigated.

    Impacts
    (N/A)

    Publications

    • FINSTEIN, M.S. 1993. None.
    • FINSTEIN, M.S. 1992. Ocean County (NJ) Solid Waste Management Office (M.S. Finstein is one of the authors). Amendment to the Ocean County district solid waste management plan, August 1992. (Earlier amendment dated February 1991).


    Progress 01/01/92 to 12/30/92

    Outputs
    A satisfactory synthetic compostable fraction of municipal solid waste (MSW) wasdeveloped. Numerous combinations of components and shredding and pre-composting regimens were tried (e.g., types of paper and food, particle size, storage duration). Storage wasto mimic retention in the kitchen and garbage can prior to pick up. The batches were evaluated in reference to "real" MSWs from three sources. This was in terms of odor and conditions with respect to: heat output; temperature profile; O2 consumption; and water removal (vaporization). The composition and pre-composting protocol that most closely mimicked real MSWs is as follows: office paper, 48g; kraft paper, 95g; pizza boxes, 240g; paper towels, 300g; dog food, 155g; baked beans, 100g; dried leaves, 62g; grass hay, 66g; brush, 93g; soil, 700g; 1 loaf sandwich bread; 4 heads lettuce; 1 bunch carrots; 1 stalk celery; 1 head broccoli; 1 green pepper; 3 tomatoes. The food items are allowed to rot in a container for 3 weeks, mixed with the paper and shredded, followed by 2 more days storage. The mixture is then composted, with sampling and rewetting at 5, 10, and 15 days. This composting feedstock is realistic yet reproducible, as needed for coherent experimentation to improve performance of real composting facilities.

    Impacts
    (N/A)

    Publications

    • FINSTEIN, M.S. 1992. Composting in the Context of Municipal Solid Waste Management. In, EnvironmentalMicrobiology (R. Mitchell, ed.), p. 355-374, Wiley-Liss, New York.
    • FINSTEIN, M.S. 1992. Ocean County (NJ) Solid Waste Management Office (M.S. Finstein is one of the authors). Amendment to the Ocean County district solid waste management plan, August 1992. (Earlier amendment dated February 1991).