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Performance of High-Rate Biotrickling Filter Under Ultra-High H2S Loadings at a Municipal WWTP

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A full-scale biotrickling filter (BTF) was installed at the JEA Buckman Water Reclamation Facility in Jacksonville, Florida. The objective was to determine the effect of very low empty bed residence times (EBRTs) (< 3 s) and high hydrogen sulfide loadings (> 300 g H2S/m3.hr) on the BTF's performance. The BTF uses structured synthetic EcoBase™ media and it was treating air from the biosolids building.

The inlet and outlet H2S concentrations were continuously measured and recorded with OdaLogs over a 6 month period. The EBRT for the reactor was controlled using a variable frequency drive on the blower motor and varied between 3 and 10 s. The H2S concentration in the untreated air varied between 50 and 350 ppmv.

At an average EBRT of 2.8 s, the BTF removed more than 99% of the H2S at a volumetric loading rate of 247 g/m3.hr. The H2S removal efficiency was 95% at a volumetric loading rate of 524 g/m3.hr at the same EBRT.

The results show that the BTF could effectively remove H2S under very high volumetric loading rates (> 300 g/m3.hr) and short residence times (< 3 s). The significance of this finding is that it is possible to size the BTF reactor at 2.8 s residence time (even at high H2S loadings), which result in a much smaller reactor size and footprint compared to the reactor size required for the higher residence times typically specified for municipal H2S odor removal applications.
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Keywords: Biotrickling filter; biological odor control; hydrogen sulfide removal

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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