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RE: compost for VOC/odor control?

In an Oct 12, 2001 post to P2TECH, Burt Hamner
(bhamner@cleanerproduction.com) asked, in part: 

> I recall reading about the use of compost
> for VOC control; air is pumped through a compost bed from below and the
> bugs eat up the molecules of VOC/odor.  Does anyone have any references
> or sources on this?

The technique you refer to is commonly known as biofiltration, and it has
applications in a lot of industry sectors.  A quick Google or AltaVista
search on the terms biolfiltration, odor control will turn up hundreds of
consultants and documents related.  One document on applications to food
industry that is pretty decent is: 


The report was prepared by RJ Philips & Associates for the Food
Manufacturing Coalition, which we were involved in a few years back.  

If you are deeply interested in the subject and want to get some very
authoratative and detailed information, the Center for Waste Reduction
Technologies has a report available for $395, entitled "Biofiltration
Project Report & Scale-up and Design Guide," which runs to 200 pages and
includes a CDROM with database and design tools to help screen potential
applications.  This latter book deals mostly with VOC odor control, but
might be of use for your intended application.

More info at: http://www.aiche.org/pubcat/seadtl.asp?ACT=C&Category=Sect6

Hope this helps.

Scott Butner (butner@battelle.org)
Director, ChemAlliance
Pacific NW National Laboratory
PO Box 999 
Richland, WA 99352