Conventional biofilters are designed and operated as continuous flow processes where the reactors receive a constant stream of contaminated air. Recent research has shown that periodically operated biofilters can remove a greater mass of contaminants during shock loads than equally sized continuously loaded biofilters. Preliminary experiments were conducted to investigate effects of periodic operation on physiological state of biofilter microorganisms. Relative concentrations of two macromolecular components of microbial cells, RNA and protein, were quantified in biosolids samples removed from biofilters operated under different periodic and continuous loading strategies. Preliminary studies presented herein suggest that the physiological state of the microbial population present in the periodically operated biofilter differs from that of those present in the biofilter operated continuously supplied air.

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