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Biofiltration of methane using an inorganic filter bed: Influence of inlet load and nitrogen concentration

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An upflow lab-scale biofilter was operated with an inorganic filter material to control methane emissions. The influence of the inlet load on methane removal was investigated and the maximum elimination capacity obtained was 36 g/(m3·h) for an inlet load of 95 g/(m3·h). The influence of the nitrogen concentration, which was provided in the form of nitrate through a nutrient solution, was also determined. We established that the optimum nitrogen concentration required for biofilter operation decreases with the methane inlet load. In fact, it was around 0.75 g/L for inlet loads comprised between 55 and 95 g/(m3·h) and of 0.50 g/L when the inlet load was comprised between 20 and 55 g/(m3·h). During this study, a nitrogen concentration of 1.00 g/L inhibited methane removal in the biofilter. In addition, the use of a nitrogen concentration superior to its optimum level can cause, in the long-term run, severe damages to the biofilter performance.

Un biofiltre à écoulement ascendant, garni d’un matériau filtrant inorganique, a été utilisé pour contrôler les émissions de méthane. L’influence de la charge à l’entrée sur l’élimination du méthane a été étudiée et la capacité d’élimination maximale obtenue était de 36 g/(m3·h) pour une charge à l’entrée de 95 g/(m3·h). L’influence de la concentration en azote, fourni sous la forme de nitrates par le biais d’une solution nutritive, a également été déterminée. Il a été établi que la concentration d’azote optimale, requise pour l’opération du biofiltre, diminuait lorsque la charge à l’entrée du méthane était réduite. En effet, elle était d’environ 0.75 g/L pour les charges d’entrée comprises entre 55 et 95 g/(m3·h) et de 0.50 g/L lorsque la charge à l’entrée était située entre 20 et 55 g/(m3·h). Au cours de cette étude, il a aussi été noté qu’une concentration d’azote de 1.00 g/L inhibait l’enlèvement de méthane dans le biofiltre. En outre, l’utilisation d’une concentration d’azote supérieure au niveau optimal peut causer, à long terme, une perte importante de performance dans le biofiltre.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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  • Published since 1974, this monthly publication is the official journal of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering. It contains articles on environmental engineering, hydrotechnical engineering, structure engineering, construction engineering, engineering mechanics, and engineering materials, and a history of civil engineering. Contributors include recognized researchers and practitioners in industry, government, and academe. New developments in engineering design and construction are also featured.
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