Vision & aim

Developing the next generation air treatment based on replacing non-renewable resources by microbiology

Concerning the objective to reduce VOC (volatile organic compounds) emission as cost-effectively and environmentally-friendly as reasonably possible, biological air treatment has the potential to be Best Available Technology (BAT). This is valid not only for a large number of European companies with VOC emissions, but also for the European Union itself. In comparison with conventional technologies biological VOC treatment is economically beneficial, it contributes to a lower ecological footprint and implies a reduction of CO2, thus adding value to the EU policy to reduce VOC emissions as well as its objective to minimise the impact of climate change.

The foundation and challenges of NEXT AIR BIOTREAT arise from the state of the art of biotrickling combined with the extensive experience of the University of Valencia and Pure Air Solutions. Further research and development are required for real advance of the technology and to make it suitable for a wide range of applications with a variety of VOC emissions. The participation of Exel Composites in the project is a key element that guarantees input from a problem owner perspective and provides the required scalability for research on the removal of styrene.

A number of key items, which together form a dynamic equilibrium, need to be addressed. If not, this technology, which has the potential for significant positive impact on EU policy to reduce the emission of VOC, CO2 and NOX, will not permeate the industry. The aim of this research project is to investigate the removal of VOCs in air emissions by biotrickling filter in order to overcome the bottlenecks mentioned above. The ultimate goal is make the technology competitive for new and specific applications. This project offers a total of 18 researchers and technicians the opportunity to move sector and country in order to absorb, transfer and apply knowledge and skills in a highly dynamic environment.

The goals of the project are:

This project aims to gain in-depth knowledge of the capabilities of biotrickling and make this technology widely available to industries emitting VOCs:

  • Ground rules and dynamics of the processes and mechanisms that occur in the biotrickling reactors.
  • Design and operation of biological processes in real scale installations and combination of process engineering and biological processes.
  • Possibilities and limitations of implementing treatment technologies at industrial facilities as a technically excellent and cost-effective solution.

Our goal will be achieved by pursuing the following objectives with three overlapping research and partnership programme areas:

  • Development of a hybrid biotechnology for removal of hydrophilic VOCs.
  • Development of a peak shaving biotechnology for removal of styrene.
  • Development of a responsive control system to advance process automation.