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Open AccessArticle

Investigation of Removal Capacities of Biofilters for Airborne Viable Micro-Organisms

LGEI, IMT Mines Ales, University of Montpellier, 30100 Ales, France
CMI Europe-Environnement, 1 rue des Pins, Parc d’Activités du Pays de Thann, 68700 Aspach-Michelbach, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 551;
Received: 24 January 2018 / Revised: 23 February 2018 / Accepted: 1 March 2018 / Published: 19 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Science and Engineering)
New emerging issues appears regarding the possible aerosolization of micro-organisms from biofilters to the ambient air. Traditional bioaerosol sampling and cultural methods used in literature offer relative efficiencies. In this study, a new method revolving around a particle counter capable of detecting total and viable particles in real time was used. This counter (BioTrak 9510-BD) uses laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) technology to determine the biological nature of the particle. The concentration of viable particles was measured on two semi-industrial pilot scale biofilters in order to estimate the Removal Efficiency in viable particles (REvp) in stable conditions and to examine the influence of pollutant feeding and relative humidification of the gaseous effluent on the REvp. The REvp of biofilters reached near 80% and highlighted both the stability of that removal and the statistical equivalence between two identical biofilters. Pollutant deprivation periods of 12 h, 48 h and 30 days were shown to have no influence on the biofilters’ removal capacity, demonstrating the robustness and adaptation capacities of the flora. In contrast, a 90-day famine period turned the biofilters into emitters of viable particles. Finally, the humidification of the effluent was shown to negatively influence the removal capacity for viable particles, as drying off the air was shown to increase the REvp from 60 to 85%. View Full-Text
Keywords: biofiltration; bioaerosols; BioTrak; fluorescence; operating parameters biofiltration; bioaerosols; BioTrak; fluorescence; operating parameters
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Soret, R.; Fanlo, J.-L.; Malhautier, L.; Geiger, P.; Bayle, S. Investigation of Removal Capacities of Biofilters for Airborne Viable Micro-Organisms. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 551.

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