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Effect of Amendment Addition on Biosolids Odors based on Gas Chromatography Analysis and Odor Panel Observations

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Many claims have been made regarding the effectiveness of chemical additives and amendments (A&As) to reduce the potential for odors from organic residuals. Various A&As have been added to biosolids during conditioning and dewatering, or directly to dewatered cake, with limited success. The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) annually produces >200,000 wet tons of biosolids via anaerobic digestion, followed by high speed centrifuge dewatering. Nuisance odors were reported during staging/ storage of biosolids cake at the Philadelphia Biosolids Recycling Center, and land application sites. This manuscript summarizes results for several A&As that was evaluated relative to their potential to reduce odors in staged and/or stored PDW biosolids. Conventional head space sampling from incubated biosolids samples and GC-MS analysis was coupled with human sensory evaluation. Of the A&As selected for study, none were effective for both staging and storage odor mitigation situations. Lime kiln dust performed best for staging, and high carbon wood ash performed best for storage. Correlation of specific odorant gasses with odor panel results revealed mixed findings.

Keywords: Chemical additives and amendments (A&As); OVACs; TVOSCs; biosolids staging; biosolids storage; inventory management; land application; odorous volatile organic compounds; odors; olfactometry; total volatile organic sulfur compounds

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-01-01

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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