Biotechnologies have emerged as a promising solution for indoor air purification with the potential to overcome the inherent limitations of indoor air treatment. These limitations include the low concentrations and variability of pollutants and mass-transfer problems caused by pollutant hydrophobicity. A new latex-based biocoating was herein optimized for the abatement of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) toluene, trichloroethylene, n-hexane, and α-pinene using acclimated activated sludge dominated by members of the phylum Patescibacteria. The influence of the water content, the presence of water absorbing compounds, the latex pretreatment, the biomass concentration, and the pollutant load was tested on VOC removal efficiency (RE) by varying the formulation of the mixtures. Overall, hexane and trichloroethylene removal was low (<30%), while high REs (>90%) were consistently recorded for toluene and pinene. The assays demonstrated the benefits of operating at high water content in the biocoating, either by including mineral medium or water absorbing compounds in the latex-biomass mixtures. The performance of the latex-based biocoating was likely limited by VOC mass-transfer rather than by biomass concentration in the biocoating. The latex-based biocoating supported a superior toluene and pinene removal than biomass in suspension when VOC loading rate was increased by a factor of 4.
- Indoor air quality
- Latex-based biofilm