Biofilters and Biotowers for Treating Odors and Volatile Organic Compounds

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Biofilters typically are sized to provide sufficient empty bed residence time (EBRT) for odorous compounds to be absorbed, adsorbed, and biodegraded. EBRTs for odorous compounds found in wastewater collection and treatment systems vary with system type and media. This paper provides information related to odor control design criteria used in sizing and selecting biotechnology-based odor control technologies and performance data obtained from 39 biotechnology-based odor control systems applied in full scale at wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) across the U.S. Performance data are presented for both total odor, in terms of odor concentrations as measured by odor panel analysis, and compound-specific removal efficiencies. Data suggest that biofilter system EBRTs below 45 seconds lose reliability for odor treatment. Biotower systems typically are operated at lower EBRTs ranging of 10 to 30 seconds or even lower.
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  • Water Practice™ publishes peer-reviewed articles and reports focusing on applied water studies. Topics include monitoring, facility operations and maintenance, management, policy, and other issues of interest and concern to water practitioners. The Journal publishes on a monthly to bi-monthly basis and is available online only.
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