Efficient Control of Odors and VOC Emissions via Activated Carbon Technology

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The goal of this research study is to enhance the efficiency and economy of carbon scrubbers in controlling odors and VOCs at the wastewater collection and treatment facilities of Bureau of Sanitation, City of Los Angeles. The objectives are: 1) to use carbon life expectancy and breakthrough methods for monitoring carbon towers; 2) to reduce harmful impacts of pollutants on public health and the environment; 3) and to recommend efficient active carbon application.

The butane activity and hydrogen sulfide breakthrough capacity of activated carbon were assessed. Air streams were measured for odorous gases and VOCs. Single-stage wet scrubbers at some wastewater treatment processes, while removing moderate levels of reduced sulfur compounds, showed low to negative removal of VOCs when compared to carbon towers alone or in series. Regular monitoring of activated carbon has resulted in useful information on carbon change-out frequency and packing recommendations to enhance odor- and VOC-removal capacity.
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