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Investigating the Capacity of an Activated Sludge Process to Reduce Volatile Organic Compounds and Odor Emissions

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The effects of hydrogen sulfide (H 2S) diffusion into activated sludge (AS) on odor and volatile organic compound (VOC) concentrations in offgas were studied over an 8-week period. Most VOCs detected in the offgas of both aeration tanks were aromatic hydrocarbons. The VOC concentrations generally decreased when H 2S was introduced to the AS compared with the control, indicating a negative effect of H 2S on VOC removal. Two volatile organic sulfur compounds present in the test AS offgas showed an increase followed by a decrease during H 2S peak loads. Six VOCs and odor concentration increased during the introduction of an H 2S peak; however no correlation was observed between H 2S and odor concentration. The increase in odor concentration resulted from the increase in the concentration of six aromatic VOCs, which had their removal slowed down during a 100-ppmv H 2S peak. Activated sludge diffusion provides effective H 2S removal with minimal affect on odor emissions.
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Keywords: activated sludge diffusion; hydrogen sulfide; odor emission; odor treatment; volatile organic compounds

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 August 2006

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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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