India: Removal Of Toluene From The Air

2066 words - 8 pages

In developing countries like India, air pollution is a major threat problem due to emission of chemicals, particulates and toxic biological materials into the atmosphere. This is caused by chemical, petrochemical, coal mining, fertilizer, leather, tannery, textile, pharmaceutical, food processing, paint, paper, pulp and printing industries etc., (Zaishan wei et al., 2010) which in turn results in discomfort, disease and death to humans; they also damage other living organisms, food crops and natural environment. The increasing pollution in the atmosphere is distributed over large complex dynamic natural gaseous regions of ground level ozone layers like troposphere, stratospheric ozone, mesospheric ozone and also global greenhouse effect depletion (Farshid Ghorbani shahna et al., 2010). Due to these reasons, air pollution has become a major threat to human health and Earth’s ecosystem. Hence the control of gaseous emissions in the environment is becoming tedious and cost expensive to many industries (Chungsying Lu et al., 2002). It is evident from 2012 Environmental Performance Index, that India has the poorest relative air quality out of 132 countries (BBC News February 21, 2005). This shows the indoor air pollution and urban air quality index listed that India has low per capita emissions of greenhouse gases but the country as a whole is the third largest after China and the United States WHO, 2011. Therefore increasing air pollutants in environment is a major issue and so The Air Act (Prevention and Control of Pollution) was passed in 1981 to control air pollution (WHO, 2011). In spite of several regulations being implemented to control of gaseous emission, VOCs are still in an environment which serves as the major pollutant in the atmosphere of ground level ozone that affects climatic conditions (BBC News, February 21, 2005). This leads to public health hazards such as respiratory problems, neurological damage and genetic disorders. In India, there is no autonomous regulation to ascertain VOCs emission. So, air pollution is believed to cause 5,27,700 fatalities in India per year. It can be reduced by eradicating the occurrence of toluene in the atmosphere. In this study, microorganisms having the capacity to degrade toluene were isolated from municipal sewage effluent and were used in biofilter. The isolated microbes were used to degrade toluene with various optimized parameters such as effect of flow rate along with contact time, column height, elimination capacity and EBRT of removal efficiency was continuously experimented in the upflow Bioreactor containing coir.
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Source of Microorganisms
Aerated municipal sewage water sample was collected from Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewage Board’s Domestic Effluent Treatment Plant situated at Koyambedu.
2.2. Chemicals Used
Sulphur free Toluene (99.9%) was used as a model volatile organic compound, brought from SRL, Chennai. To mention about its toxic level, it...

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