A radial-flow device for the biopurification of a model VOC- and wood-smoke- contaminated confined space

Jessica San Martin-Davison, Felipe Scott, Christian Vergara-Ojeda, Patricio Moreno-Casas, Cecile Hort, Alberto Vergara-Fernández*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Indoor air pollution is a growing problem worldwide that causes a series of health issues in the population. Effective devices for abatement of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are currently restricted to adsorption systems based on active carbon. The objective of this study was to evaluate the operation of a new design of radial-flow biopurifier using a model mixture of toluene, benzo(α)pyrene (BaP) and formaldehyde, initially inoculated with the filamentous fungus Fusarium solani and the bacterium Rhodococcus erythropolis. RESULTS: The results show that, under the range of inlet load tested and under continuous operation, the biopurification system achieved removal efficiencies above 90%, translating into a purifier air refreshment capacity of 0.62, 2.5 and 0.8 h−1 for BaP, formaldehyde and toluene, respectively. CONCLUSION: The system was operated for 8 months, without a decrease in the single-pass removal efficiency, and withstood up to 15 days starvation periods with a marginal effect on its air refreshment capacity once the feeding of pollutants was restarted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-380
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Society of Chemical Industry (SCI).


  • Fusarium solani
  • PAHs
  • Rhodococcus erythropolis
  • VOCs
  • biopurifier
  • indoor air pollution


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