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Dissimilar Emission Characteristics between Bioaerosol and suspended Particles from Gaseous Biofilters and Bioaerosol Health Risk Evaluation

Category: Bioaerosols

Accepted Manuscripts
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2017.11.0485
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Yingcai Wang1,2, Yan Fu1,2, Can Wang 1,2, Nuanjia Wen1,2

  • 1 School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300350, China
  • 2 Key Lab of Indoor Air Environmental Quality Control, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300350, China


Bioaerosol and suspended particle emitted from biofilters were investigated.
Bacteria and fungi emission were favored by different conditions.
Emitted bioaerosol concentration changed with various particle sizes.
Nonbiological suspended particles could be removed by biofilters.
Adult males were at the highest risk of bioaerosol through inhalation.


Biofiltration is a common technology to treat volatile organic compounds (VOCs), however, bioaerosols may be carried out by gas flow, suggesting a potential risk to human health. In this study, the emission characteristics of bioaerosol and suspended particles (mainly nonbiological particles) emitted from biofilters and their health risk with different gas velocities, gas temperatures and packing bed moisture contents were analyzed. Results showed that high gas velocity made microbes easily be brought away from the carriers. The maximum outlet bacterial aerosol concentration was 223 CFU m–3 at 50°C, while fungal aerosol concentration decreased as the temperature beyond 25°C. The peak bacteria concentration was 349 CFU m–3 with moisture content of 70% whereas the highest fungi concentration (nearly 267 CFU m–3) was observed at 40%. The bioaerosol concentration of different particle sizes also changes with experimental conditions. Moreover, fine particles emission is favored by large gas velocity, low temperature and high moisture content. However, the changes of coarse particles in concentration and size distribution are not obvious. Relationship between bioaerosol and suspend particles emission demonstrated that the biofilter is a bioaerosol emissions source but remove the nonbiological suspended particles due to its filtration. The health risk evaluation showed that adult males were under the highest risk of infections by bioaerosol emissions from biofilters through inhalation.


Biofilter Bioaerosol Suspended particle Emission characteristic Health risk assessment

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