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Applicability of Biofiltration for High Influent Odor and VOC Concentrations

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Third generation biofilters are controlled systems utilizing a certain level of “artificial intelligence” from a built-in “expert system”. Because of their ability to automatically adapt to changing conditions, these systems have become known for their flexibility when exposed to extreme conditions.

A third generation biofilter went online at the Mill Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, Cincinnati, Ohio, in August 1997, for the treatment of the gases released from sludge holding tanks. The system was designed to treat nominally 11,000 m3/h (about 6,300 scfm) of polluted air containing an average hydrogen sulfide concentration of 10 ppm, with allowed peaks of 50 ppm. These expected loads were determined by an independent consultant.

Upon start-up of the biofilter, influent concentrations well in excess of 300 ppm were measured. The system's adaptation features, driven by electronic controls, enabled a removal of 90%+ to be maintained even at these extreme influent concentrations.

The system responds well to changes in influent concentration. The performance data obtained over the initial two years of operation were very good, and the influence of advanced controls on the observed performance is discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-01-01

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