Biofilter media gas pressure loss as related to media particle size and particle shape

Lorenzo Pugliese*, Tjalfe G. Poulsen, Rune R. Andreasen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Pressure loss (ΔP) is a key parameter for estimating biofilter energy consumption. Accurate predictions of ΔP as a function of air velocity (V) are, therefore, essential to assess energy consumption and minimize operation costs. This paper investigates the combined impact of medium particle size and shape on the V-ΔP relationship. The V-ΔP measurements were performed using three commercially available materials with different particle shapes: crushed granite (very angular particles), gravel (particles of intermediate roundness), and lightweight clay aggregrate (almost spherical particles). A total of 21 different particle-size fractions, with particle sizes ranging from 2 to 14 mm, were considered for each material. As expected, ΔP decreased with increasing particle size in agreement with earlier findings. The value of ΔP, however, also showed a tendency to decrease with increasing particle roundness especially for fractions containing smaller particles. A new model concept for estimating V-ΔP across different particle-size fractions and shapes was proposed. This model yielded improved prediction accuracy in comparison with existing prediction approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1424-1431
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Environmental Engineering, ASCE
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Air flow
  • Filtration
  • Granular media
  • Moisture
  • Particle shape
  • Particle-size distribution
  • Permeability
  • Pressure loss


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