BIOTOWERS VS. CHEMICAL SCRUBBERS — WHAT TO CHOOSE FOR A GREENFIELD PLANT
Abstract:King County's new 36-million gallon per day (mgd) Brightwater Wastewater Treatment Plant in Washington State will have state-of-the-art odor control when it goes on-line in 2011. The County has made a commitment to the surrounding community that the plant will have no detectable odors offsite, at any time. To meet this strict requirement, the treatment plant will have all its processes enclosed and process air vented to 13 40,000 cubic feet per minute (cfm) multiple stage odor control systems divided between three odor control facilities (Headworks/Primaries, Aeration Basins/Membrane Basins and Solids Building). The odor control system design was partially completed in the summer of 2005 when it was temporarily put on hold to review the results of the County's recent pilot testing of biotrickling towers (biotowers), the current state of the industry with regard to biotechnology, and potential cost-saving measures that could be implemented in the design. The original design was threestage chemical scrubbers followed by carbon at all three facilities. However, based on the favorable results of biotower pilot at the County, full-scale results at other facilities, performance, sustainability of the technology, and life cycle cost savings, the County made a decision to revise the Brightwater odor control design to incorporate biotowers. The resulting design includes roughing biotowers followed by single-stage chemical scrubbers and carbon and the Headworks/Primary and Solids Building, and single-stage chemical scrubbers followed by carbon at Aeration Basins/Membrane Basins.
This paper will focus on the key points of the Brightwater odor control design and the biotower pilot testing that King County performed prior to the change to biotowers. The pilot test results will be presented in terms of hydrogen sulfide removal, odor removal (with associated change in hedonic tone), VOC and RSC removal, and lessons learned from the pilot study. Capital, annual and life cycle costs for Brightwater using chemical scrubbers and Brightwater using biotowers will also be presented. This paper will be of interest to utilities that either are using chemical scrubbers or biotechnology for odor control or are interested in learning more about biotechnology.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2006
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