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Title: Application demonstration of dual stage biofilter for publicly owned treatment works. Final report

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Reynolds, F. Edward, Jr., RCE; Chitwood, Derek; Divinny, Dr. Joseph F.

Contractor: Reynolds Group

Contract Number: 96-339

Research Program Area: Emissions Monitoring & Control

Topic Areas: ICAT Grants / Technology, Stationary Sources


Foul and odorous air emissions from wastewater plants, commonly known as Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW's), pump stations, and other industrial sources such as pulp and paper mills and refineries are common nuisances. The ingredients of the effluent air streams may contain a variety of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are subject to air pollution regulations. One of the key components of the odors is hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S). Hydrogen sulfide is easily oxidized into sulfuric acid, but sulfuric acid creates havoc for conventional treatment methods. Sulfuric acids corrode thermal oxidation systems (conventional burner systems) and require high capital costs when treated chemically (typically using chlorine).

Biological treatment of air pollutants is appealing because biofilters are a benign and environmentally friendly technology. The primary barrier to adoption of biofilter technology at POTW's and other applicaitions is the lack of operating experience. Plant managers are understandably reluctant to adopt new systems without a successful track record. Even the California Air Resources Board (CARB) was initially hesitant to support a system that did not work on traditional mechanical or chemical principles. This project was the first biologically based system that the CARB funded.


For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Research Division staff at (916) 445-0753

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