Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Biofilters for VOC Removal:Hybrid Biofiltration for VOC Control(ST6375-1)

Triad Technologies,Inc.


Triad Technologies, Inc., in Syracuse, NY, produces reinforced plastic products. Industries, such as Triad, that use resins, paints, cleaners, adhesives and thinners, are facing new, increasingly stringent, workplace health and environmental standards. These standards require investments in pollution-control technologies that can put smaller producers out of business and increase the cost of operation for larger manufacturers. There are more than 3,000 fiberglass companies in the U.S.; over 800 of them use the open molding process, as practiced by Triad. Triad identified the need to develop lower-cost technologies to treat workplace air, and proposed to perfect bio-filtration in a closed-loop manner, which is inherently energy conservative by reducing the amount of ventilated air for conditioning.

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Project Description

Triad built and tested a biofiltration systems prototype using compost to treat chemical storage room air. The 2,600 cubic foot storage room, with a styrene concentration of 300 parts per million (ppm), was reduced to 25 ppm over a four-hour period. This system was operated over a year and maintained a concentration of 20 ppm in the storage room. Efficiencies were confirmed with independent experiments at Cornell University, which operated lab reactors over one year, removing up to 98% of styrene-contaminated air with concentrations ranging from 40-400 ppm, or a loading rate up to about 10 kg/m3/day styrene. Triad developed a modular system design for biofiltration using banks of mini-reactors that can be incorporated into shop workbenches, partition wall and specialized enclosures. Patents are being filed for modular central-air/mini bio-reactor cartridge concept and the concept of source capture and closed-loop treatment.


The closed-loop bio-filtration technology potentially offers a low-capital and low-energy-cost alternative to meet anticipated new worker safety and environmental standards for hazardous air pollutants. If this approach is successfully demonstrated, a new company will be formed to market and provide technical support services for the technology. Triad will expand production to manufacture molded mini-bioreactors and associated systems, increasing employment in the Syracuse area.

Project Results

Continue development of the technology through the field demonstration phase as phase II. During this time, Triad would construct, assemble and test pre-production modular closed-loop VOC treatment system components, including central air & water flow housing, mini bio-reactor modules, and specify pumps, valves and manifolds, as well as artificial media. Triad would also assess operating procedures for mini-bio-reactors using bench-scale systems (Cornell University); isolate inoculates for other hazardous air pollutants; deploy a variety of modular bio-reactor systems designed as shop furniture, including walls, enclosures and tables, at Triad, and up to four other potential users in NYS; and further assess the capital cost and operating (energy) cost advantages of the technology.


Triad Technologies,Inc.
105 Spencer Street
Syracuse, NY 13204

Principle Investigator

Lew Daly

Universities Involved

Cornell University


Project Type:

Product Development

Technologies Types:

Waste Management and Pollution Prevention
Emission controls

NYSERDA Contact Information

Barry Liebowitz


R&D -Transport & Power Systems

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST6375-1

Last Updated: 6/28/2013