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Ethylene removal efficiency and bacterial community diversity of a natural zeolite biofilter

Fu, Yuming, Shao, Lingzhi, Tong, Ling, Liu, Hong
Bioresource technology 2011 v.102 no.2 pp. 576-584
Actinobacteria, air, bacteria, bacterial communities, beta-Proteobacteria, biofilters, biofiltration, ethylene, gamma-Proteobacteria, horticulture, inoculum, phylogeny, streams, sustainable technology, zeolites
To establish an economical and environmentally friendly technology for ethylene removal from horticultural facilities and industrial point sources, a bench-scale natural zeolite biofiltration system was developed in this study. The system was evaluated for its performance in removing ethylene from an artificially contaminated air stream and characterized for its bacterial diversity under varied ethylene concentrations, and in different spatial stages of the filter. The biofilter enabled to approximately 100% remove ethylene at loading rates of 0.26–3.76gm⁻³h⁻¹ when operated with inoculum containing enriched ethylene-degrading bacteria. The bacterial diversity and abundance varied with the height of the biofilter. Moreover, the occurrence and predominance of specific bacterial species varied with the concentrations of ethylene introduced into the biofilter, as observed by PCR-DGGE methods. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the biofilter system supported a diverse community of ethylene-degrading bacteria, with high similarity to species in the classes Betaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Bacilli, and Actinobacteria.