Biotrickling filters for biogas sweetening: Oxygen transfer improvement for a reliable operation

Ginesta Rodriguez, Antonio D. Dorado, Marc Fortuny, David Gabriel, Xavier Gamisans

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    52 Citations (Scopus)


    An industrial-scale biotrickling filter for the removal of high concentrations of H2S is described in this work. The system has been operating at H2S inlet concentrations between 1000 and 3000 ppm v at acidic conditions. A decrease of pH from 2.6 to 1.8 did not affect the biological activity inside the biofilter while reducing the water make-up consumption up to 75%. The current oxygen supply system, based on direct injection of air to the liquid phase, has demonstrated to be inefficient for a long-term operation leading to elemental sulfur accumulation in the packing material (i.e. promoting clogging episodes). The present study demonstrates it is possible to partially remove (40.3%) the deposited elemental sulfur by bio-oxidation when biogas is not fed. In normal operation conditions, the implementation of an aeration system based on jet-venturi devices has shown quite promising results in terms of oxygen transfer efficiency and robustness. Such improvement of oxygen transfer was translated in a better conversion of H2S to sulfate, which increased around 17%, prolonging the lifespan operation at low-pressure drop. © 2013 The Institution of Chemical Engineers.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)261-268
    JournalProcess Safety and Environmental Protection
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


    • Acidic pH
    • Biotrickling filter
    • Elemental sulfur
    • Hydrogen sulfide
    • Jet-venturi
    • Mass transfer

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