Treatment of a mixture of NH3, H2S, and ethylmercaptan (EM) was investigated for more than 15 months in two biotrickling filters packed with poplar wood chips and polyurethane foam. Inlet loads ranging from 5 to 10 g N-NH3 m-3 hr-1, from 5 to 16 g S-H2S m-3 hr-1, and from 0 to 5 g EM m-3 hr-1 were applied. During startup, the biotrickling filter packed with polyurethane foam was re-inoculated due to reduced biomass retention as well as a stronger effect of nitrogen compounds inhibition compared with the biotrickling filter packed with poplar wood. Accurate pH control between 7 and 7.5 favored pollutants abatement. In the long run, complete NH3 removal in the gas phase was achieved in both reactors, while H2S removal efficiencies exceeded 90%. EM abatement was significantly different in both reactors. A systematically lower elimination capacity was found in the polyurethane foam bioreactor. N fractions in the liquid phase proved that high nitrification rates were reached throughout steady-state operation in both bioreactors. CO2 production showed the extent of the organic packing material degradation, which allowed estimating its service lifetime in around 2 years. In the long run, the bioreactor packed with the organic packing material had a lower stability. However, an economic analysis indicated that poplar wood chips are a competitive alternative to inorganic packing materials in biotrickling filters.We provide new insights in the use of organic packing materials in biotrickling filters for the treatment of H2S, NH3, and mercaptans and compare them with polyurethane foam, a packing commonly used in biotrickling filters. We found interesting features related with the startup of the reactors and parameterized both the performance under steady-state conditions and the influence of the gas contact time. We provide relevant conclusions in the profitability of organic packing materials under a biotrickling filter configuration, which is infrequent but proven reliable from our research results. The report is useful to designers and users of this technology. © 2013 Copyright 2013 A&WMA.
|Journal||Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2013|