Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are toxic for the environment and human health and their tendency to readily volatilize in the atmosphere leads to problems connected to odours annoyance. The conventional treatments for VOCs gaseous emissions conventionally entail the application of chemical-physical processes, only promoting the transfer of the contaminants from gas to liquid and/or solid phases. Advanced Oxidation Process (AOPs) and biological processes, conversely, support the oxidation of the organic pollutants, promoting their conversion into harmless and odourless compounds. This study aims at evaluating the performance of an innovative treatment solution, at pilot scale, of AOPs pretreatment coupled with a bio-scrubbing unit for the abatement of toluene, selected as model VOCs. Different operating conditions have been evaluated to understand the behavior towards inlet load fluctuations. The results exhibited that the ozonation applied as pretreatment to the biological process may promote an increase of the pollutant biodegradability along with synergic effects due to the absorption of the ozone derived compounds into the culture growth, resulting in a significant enhancement of removal performances respect to the conventional botechnologies.
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