How Bio Filters Work

wetland area
  • 1-20 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-500

For the most part, a bio filter is used to control pollution by using living material to capture and biologically degrade unhealthy process pollutants. There are many uses for bio filters that include: treating wastewater, capturing harmful chemicals or silt from surface runoff water, for cleaning and oxygenating fishponds or aquariums, and even for filtering drinking water or removing micro biotic oxidation of contaminants from the air.

Types of Bio Filters

Many different types of bio filters are in use today serving different applications. Common examples of bio filters are bio swells, constructed or natural wetlands, slow sand filters, treatment ponds, and green belts. All have a particular function and use; however, all use some sort of organic material to help remove pollutants.

Bio Filters and Air Pollution Control

exhaust coming from a tailpipe

Bio filters are commonly used to help provide air filtration and purification. These types of bio filters generally use microorganisms to remove pollution and contaminants from the air. The air flows through a packed bed of microorganisms and the pollutants are transferred into a thin bio film on the surface of the packing or filter material. Micro organisms such as bacteria and fungi are immobilized in the bio film and degrade and destroy the pollutants. Trickling filters and bio scrubbers use a type bio filter or bio film of a similar sort that uses bacterial action in recirculating waters and removing pollutants.

Bio Filters For Water Treatment

debris floating in water

Bio filters in the form of trickling filters have been used to filter drinking water in one way or another for almost two centuries. In Europe, simple bio filters and biological treatments have been used to filter surface water into drinking water since the early 1900s; furthermore, trickled filter methods are being used more and more all over the world. In addition, bio filter treatment methods are quite common in wastewater treatment, aquaculture, and gray water recycling; bio filtering offers a way to minimize water replacement while increasing the quality of the water.

When treating drinking water, bio filtration involves the use of natural microorganisms in surface water to help improve the water quality. Under the right circumstances, low turbidity and high oxygen content will help the micro organisms break down pollutant material in the water, and thus improve the quality of drinking water.

Other natural methods such as sand filters are common for carbon filters and are also used to stimulate the growth of healthy microorganisms that help break down pollutant material in water. In addition to improving the quality of the drinking water, biological treatment of drinking water has been shown to effectively reduce waterborne diseases, and dissolve organic carbon, turbidity, and color in surface water—all of which help improve the overall quality of the water.

Using a bio filter is an effective way of removing harmful bacteria and pollutants from our air, our soil, and our water. Furthermore, bio filters are one of the best ways to save our most precious natural resources—clean air and water.