Monitoring and performance of a desulphurizing biotrickling filter with an integrated continuous gas/liquid flow analyser

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Biological processes have proved to be suitable for desulphurization of energy-rich gases containing high loads of H2S(g). However, monitoring devices for assessing such bioreactors performance are still scarce. In this work, an analytical system consisting in a flow injection analyser (FIA) for total dissolved sulphide (H2S(aq)+HS-+S2-) (TDS) and a continuous flow analyser with a gas diffusion step (GD-CFA) configuration for H2S(g) have been used for on-line monitoring of a biotrickling filter for desulphurization of biogas mimics under aerobic conditions. Analyses were validated versus commercial sensors during real-time monitoring of the biotrickling filter performance under aerobic and anoxic conditions. During the aerobic period monitoring reported herein, the inlet H2S concentration was stepwise increased from 2000ppmv (51gH2Sm-3h-1) up to 8000ppmv of H2S (215gH2Sm-3h-1). Complementary off-line measurements of other sulphur species allowed assessing a sulphur mass balance, which indicated that S0 production proportionally increased with an O2/H2S ratio decrease. Under the studied conditions, the maximum TDS concentration detected in the liquid phase was 3.08mgS2-L-1 while the maximum elimination capacity of the reactor was 201gH2Sm-3h-1 and the maximum removal efficiency was 100%. The FIA/GD-CFA results demonstrated that the proposed analytical system is reliable for on-line monitoring applications and can serve as a valuable tool to understand the complex mechanism of biological desulphurization. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)500-507
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010


  • Biotrickling filter
  • Desulphurization
  • FIA
  • GD-CFA
  • Hydrogen sulphide
  • On-line monitoring


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