Biofilters are a well-established method for controlling odorous and volatile organic compound air emissions from composting operations. When designed and operated per Best Management Practices they routinely reduce VOC and odor emissions by more than 95%. ECS has designed and provided the air distribution, control, and monitoring systems for dozens of biofilters at large composting facilities and processing buildings such as MRF’s. In addition, we’ve measured and improved the scrubbing efficiency of many biofilters (we know what makes them tick).

For a deeper understanding of biofilters and how they work, check out our biofilter white paper.

Types of biofilters and applications

Biofilters can be used to process air directly from composting, or from other sources. We commonly see organics handling buildings also require biofiltration if they exist in an odor sensitive location. Depending on the required air change rate, this can often require the biofilter to treat very large volumes of air. Fortunately, their are some benefits of combining these two applications:

Whether needed for a building, a compost system, or both – biofilters are great at mitigating odor causing volatile organic compounds, and particulate matter in an air stream.

Types of biofilter air distribution

Good biofilter designs distribut the air relatively evenly across the bottom of the media. The two main approaches include pipe on grade, or suspended floors.

The first example below shows a pipe on grade biofilter. A plenum provides air to a series of pipes that run under the biofilter media. These have an engineered hole design to provide uniform aeration along their length. Pipe on grade biofilters tend to cost less, and work well in locations where it is challenging to pour concrete (ie capped surface of a landfill)

Figure 2: Biofilter with Above Grade Pipe and Coarse Media

The other common biofilter uses a suspended floor to distribute the air. Pre-stressed and pre-drilled concrete panels sit on top of pedestals to form a below grade air plenum. Suspended floor biofilters provide excellent air distribution, and excel at capturing condensation and surface water.

Suspended floor biofilter panels and pedestals (before the woody media is added on top)

To learn more about biofilters, check out our white paper or contact us.

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