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The City of Columbus (City) has operated an outdoor aerated static pile biosolids composting facility since 1980. It currently processes 27.5 dry tons per day. The City recently completed a Functional Revision Study to prioritize future improvements needed to increase its capacity to 50 dry tons per day by 2003 and prevent off-site odors. This paper describes the pilot study and odor dispersion modeling that were conducted to determine the required degree of enclosure and odor control, demonstrating the value of modeling as a tool for evaluating alternative concepts prior to final design. Experimental piles were constructed to simulate both positive and negative aeration and determine optimum aeration rates. Samples were taken at the surface of the piles on Days 2, 7, and 14 and analyzed for ammonia and odor concentration. Odor data was input into the Industrial Source Complex Short-term (ISCST3) model, and off-site odor concentrations were predicted for three design scenarios:

Scenario 1 – Outdoors with positive aeration (similar to current operation)

Scenario 2 – Outdoors with negative aeration and treatment of blower exhaust in biofilters

Scenario 3 – Totally enclosed with treatment of all building exhaust in biofilters

The model was set up to determine the number of odor incidents per five-year period for each of 14 receptor locations in residential areas around the facility. An odor incident was defined as 10 minutes with an odor concentration in excess of 5 dilutions to threshold (d/t). The model showed clearly that Scenario 1 would not prevent off-site odors. This was confirmed by the recent increase in odor complaints in the vicinity of the plant. The model showed that Scenario 2 would provide adequate odor control at 25 dry tons per day, but Scenario 3 would be required at 50 dry tons per day.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-01-01

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