Bangladesh researchers found a way to use microbes and wood charcoal to create a biofilter in order to remove ammonia from the air more efficiently.
The team of researchers from the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, in Sylhet built the biofilter from wood charcoal, but not any type of charcoal. They grew a special kind of bacteria inside it, Notrosomonas europaea, which feeds with ammonia that it oxidizes to nitride.
The Notrosomonas is usually found in soil, freshwater, sewage, and on buildings and monuments in polluted areas.
The prototype charcoal biofilter retains around 93% of the ammonia at a concentration of 100 to 500 milligrams per liter of gas.
Biofiltration has been used for decades to treat waste gases, but this is the first efficient example of biofiltration using cheap materials. Though simple, it can greatly reduce pollution levels from various types of factories around the world.