Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

The development of a gas-permeable-membrane-supported (GPMS) biofilm reactor for the combined anaerobic/aerobic treatment of polychlorinated biphenyls Public Deposited

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  • A continuous flow, gas-permeable-membrane-supported (GPMS) biofilm reactor was developed to facilitate the treatment of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The GPMS biofilm reactor consisted of a cylindrical glass vessel made up of three compartments: the gas, liquid and headspace compartments. A gas-permeable membrane separated the bottom gas compartment from the liquid compartment. The biofilm, comprised of a mixed consortia of aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms, was grown on the liquid side of the membrane, and was supplied with oxygen from the gas compartment. Chemical oxygen demand (COD) analyses of reactor liquid indicated that it was possible to maintain a relatively constant biomass over time. PCBs were removed from the reactor influent by the GPMS biofilm reactor at efficiencies of 82 to 99 percent, depending on the PCB influent concentration and the degree of chlorination. The major removal mechanism involved adsorption of PCBs to biomass in the reactor. Gas chromatography-electron capture detector and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analyses of biofilm samples suggested that 2,3,4,5,6-pentachlorobiphenyl was reductively dechlorinated to produce 2,3,5,6-tetrachlorobiphenyl. Thus, the process resulted in the degradation of one of the parent compounds by removing a chlorine from the para position.
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