Russian scientists have developed a bio-filter, which absorbs the nicotine

Smoking is dangerous not only for smokers. In the production of tobacco in the air is allocated a significant amount of nicotine and other volatile substances toxic to humans, causing his allergic reaction or simply strong-smelling. Only one way out — to put filters. Specialists Institute of Biochemistry. AN Bach Academy of Sciences, Institute of Biochemical Physics. NM Emmanuel Sciences and Ltd. "Innovative Biotechnology" developed a bio-filter — a community of microorganisms capable of effectively absorbing nicotine from the air and odorous substances.During the processing of tobacco leaves in the air enter the volatile organic compound. The most dangerous of them — nicotine. It is poisonous, is well absorbed in the body and can cause severe illness. Furthermore, tobacco leaves contain a variety of other volatile compounds are sometimes not identified. Researchers have identified these compounds from tobacco leaves and fermented determined using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. They were able to identify more than 200 volatile compounds belonging to various classes. Some compounds such unpleasant smells which specialists tasters identified as chemical, burnt, acrid smell bad or tobacco. Other aroma of green, nutty, floral, tobacco and honey. Since different varieties of tobacco leaf close volatile composition but differ greatly in their content, then they smell differently.

One of the most efficient and environmentally friendly ways to remove volatile organic compounds from the air — biofiltration. It is relatively inexpensive and does not cause environmental pollution. To create a biofilter that can clean air fumes of tobacco production, Moscow scientists have designed a laboratory microreactor, which are small glass containers filled with a carrier of a polyamide fiber. Applied to the fiber suspension of bacteria in mineral medium. The suspension is constantly circulated in the reactor, the bacteria settled on the fiber and form a biofilm. The composition of the slurry entered organisms, isolated from samples taken from the tobacco companies, as well as decomposing volatile organic compounds bacteria of the genera Pseudomonas, Rhodococcus, Nocardia and Micrococcus from the collection of the Institute of Biochemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences. Air was passed through the bioreactor, previously passed through a warmed shredded tobacco leaves of different varieties.

Laboratory bioreactors operated for over a year. During this time, the fiber to form a community of microorganisms adapted to use volatile substances, and of stably removing odorous air tobacco compounds and 90% nicotine. Substances commonly used in the softening of tobacco leaf and tobacco flavor, do not affect the efficiency of the bacteria.

The liquid circulating in a laboratory reactor, in an industrial environment will fall into drains. The analysis showed that it does not contain nicotine and other toxic substances, ie biofilters did not pollute the environment.

According to researchers from the laboratory results can be the basis for building and testing plant.

The work of scientists supported Federal Target Program "Research and development on priority directions of scientific-technological complex of Russia for 2007-2013"

Source: NA Zagustina, TA Misharina, AA Vepritsky, VG Zhukov, SA Ruzhitsky, MB Terenina, NI Krikunova, AK Kulikova, VO Popov "Removal of volatiles from the air of tobacco leaves by biofiltration" Applied Biochemistry and Microbiology, , 2012, Volume 48, № 4.


Natalya Reznik

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