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Treatment of Mixed Hydrogen Sulfide and Organic Vapors in a Rock Medium Biofilter

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A pilot-scale biofilter was operated at a publicly owned treatment works to remove hydrogen sulfide and a mixture of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from waste gas streams. Lava rock was used for the medium, which averaged pH 4 during the study. The study itself was conducted in three phases. The bed volume was 9.8, 6.5, and 3.3 m3 in phases 1, 2, and 3, respectively, while the flowrate was approximately 17 m3/min throughout the study. The removal efficiency of hydrogen sulfide was consistently greater than 90% for all three phases and, despite low-pH conditions, weighted average VOC removal was greater than 70%. The lava rock provided a hospitable environment for microorganisms while causing low head loss (25 Pa at a load rate of 3.8 m/min). However, lava rock is susceptible to dissolution at low-pH conditions (the degree of dissolution depends on the source of the material).
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-07-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    Water Environment Research (WER) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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