Bio-Furniture

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Summary Description
The patented HAPcontrol Engineered Bio-Furniture System is an energy efficient and industrially suitable green remediation solution that eliminates the installation, control, variability, maintenance, and energy costs and problems associated with classic whole-building external bio-filtration and thermal oxidation units.

The System is based on using multiple, small custom inoculated artificial media biofilter cartridges contained within plant floor furnishings in the form of Bio-Tables and wall mounted or free standing Bio-Panels located adjacent to or around the pollutant release point. Operation is continuous and transparent to the end user.

A wide variety of modular Bio-Furniture configurations are available for localized closed loop remediation of typical process-generated airborne pollutants, ranging from single cartridge units for local point source control to whole room sized equipment enclosures.

Proprietary inoculates are currently available for remediation of styrene, acetone, and toluene, with inoculates being isolated for other organic HAP’s and VOC’s.

Bio-Furniture Configurations:

  • Bio-Table: 36” x 48” x 33” high, four cartridges
  • 36” x 78” x 33” high, eight cartridges
  • 48” x 96” x 34” high, twelve cartridges
  • Cure-Hood: Bio-Table with optional desk style full width tambour hood.
  • Bio-Panels: 50” wide x 98” tall x 8”-12” deep wall/enclosure panels
  • Bio-Module: multiple removable Bio-Panels 50” wide x 60” tall x 50” deep
  • Wall-Panel: 50” wide x 98” tall passive, translucent modular enclosure panels

What is Biofiltration?
Biofiltration, or biological filtration, is a process found in nature on a microbial level wherein an organic contaminant, such as a HAP, VOC or odor becomes a food source for the microbes. When one passes such a polluted airstream through a colony of microbes, they will consume or convert the pollutant into carbon dioxide and water. .

Where is biofiltration found?

In its simplest form, this microbial activity can be found in a common compost pile, which contains a wide variety of microbes and as such would handle a wide variety of pollutants but at a very low removal efficiency..

How does natural biofiltration work?

Microbes live on the surface of a water film that is maintained on a support media or bed, such as a compost pile. As contaminated air passes through the media it comes in contact with the water film containing the microbes, and they in turn seek out and remove the pollutant in the airstream.

Like all living organisms the microbes require water, nutrients, and a source of food — which is the organic pollutant to be remediated. Over time these microbes consume the organic media found in the natural bed in their search for nutrients, giving rise to channeling. They also multiply and die off, ultimately causing bed fouling and clogging.

Who has used biofiltration?

The natural process has been used overseas for over 25 years, primarily in removing odors from waste treatment plants, and is recognized as a very cost-effective approach. More recently this has been expanded into other areas of remediation and odor control, but has not been widely pursued or commercialized in the in the United States up to this point.

Why isn’t it more popular?

Although there have been many university studies on biological mechanisms, it’s industrial use has been very limited primarily to a lack of suitability and integration with the needs of the industrial world. There are many problems encountered with natural biofiltration, including predictability, consistency, longevity, ruggedness, and control. All the effort to date has been put on studying and understanding the compost pile biological mechanisms.

How has this changed?

This has all changed with the introduction of the HAPcontrol Engineered Biofiltration System approach. Our effort has focused on a redesign of the biofiltration process to make it suitable for use in a true industrial environment. Our cartridge based System is fully controlled as all the functions of the compost pile are artificially replicated and provided, creating a totally sustainable and maintenance free mode of operation.

There are no longer the problems associated with natural biofiltration beds such as channeling, dry-out, compacting, disintegration, clogging, or nutrient starvation. Unlike a natural media bed, the artificial media we use in the cartridges is homogeneous and not biodegradable, and is not consumed by the microbes or degraded by the presence of water.

Unlike a natural media bed that can be destroyed if allowed to dry out, our artificial media bed can be allowed to dry out, and subsequently completely rejuvenated. Extended periods of inactivity or low food source concentrations have little effect on the microbial population as they simply go dormant and hibernate.

Operation of the biofilter is fully controlled and totally transparent to the end-user. Routine operations such as media flushing are preprogrammed in the System, and require no operator at attention. The System currently in operation at Triad has been in continuous unattended operation for over two years with no downtime or maintenance required.. .

How does the HAPcontrol System work?

Our cartridge based system replicates the microbial activity found in the natural compost pile, but in an entirely controlled and artificial way.

By using an artificial media housed in removable cartridges, we are able to avoid all of the problems inherent to a natural, fixed media bed, and a periodic flush cycle is used to remove the biomass. Nutrients are periodically added to the flush water to increase the microbial population

The cartridges are inoculated with microbes preferentially isolated for the specific gas to be remediated to maximize the microbial content and removal efficiency. This creates a much higher percentage of useful microbes, as opposed to the standard compost pile approach.

What is “Engineered Biofurniture”?

“Engineered biofurniture” is the System designation for our redesign of the natural biofiltration process, coupled with the packaging of the System components as industrial furniture pieces suitable for use on a production or laboratory floor.

By using a artridge approach to contain the media we have created a basic modular structure capable of being configured to meet specific applicatio

By packaging the cartridges into biofurniture pieces configured as cabinets, work tables, and dividing walls, we are able to add versatility and minimize the impact on the production floor space

By being able to locate the biofurniture adjacent to the pollutant source point on the production floor we are able to drastically improve the collection and removal efficiency.

By recirculating the cleansed air back to the pollutant source point within the building we are able to eliminate outside exhausting of the pollutant and the associated costs of makeup air heating and cooling.

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