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A pilot-scale biotrickling filter was installed at the Hyperion Treatment Plant in Los Angeles to study H2S/odor and VOC removal from the Headworks' waste air. The performance of the reactor was continuously monitored over a period of 10 months. At an average empty bed gas residence time of 24 s, 10-50 ppm H2S was consistently removed at greater than 98% efficiency, corresponding to an average volumetric H2S elimination capacity of 5.2 g/m3.h. Concentration profiles over the height of the reactor indicated near complete removal in the first section of the reactor and that elimination capacities up to 30 g/m3.h could be obtained. The odor reduction was 98%, which corresponded to the efficiency of removal of H2S as the major pollutant. VOCs were present at concentrations up to 150 ppb. Low but significant removal of toluene and benzene was observed when the biotrickling filter was operated with pH-control to neutralize sulfuric acid production from H2S oxidation. Xylenes and chlorinated VOCs were not removed, irrespective of experimental conditions in the reactor. The results lead to the conclusion that VOC removal is the limiting process in biotrickling filters for the simultaneous removal of H2S and VOCs at POTWs.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2001-01-01

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