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Evaluation of Sulfide Emissions from a Hydraulic System at the Blue River Dam

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Technical Report

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U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center-Environmental Laboratory Vicksburg United States

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Hydrogen sulfide releases occurred during a routine maintenance process in a hydraulic oil system at Blue River Dam, Oregon. The project worked under the hypothesis that the sulfide emissions most likely resulted from reductive biological processes. Hydraulic oil samples were collected from the Blue River Dam, and from two other nearby dams with similar hydraulic systems, Hills Creek Dam, and Cougar Dam. Water samples from the reservoir were also collected. Sulfur was found in all the oil and water samples, however, no patterns with sulfur to other parameters such as percent water or acid neutralization number were found in the oil samples. A microscopic review of hydraulic filters did not show any evidence of bio-film accumulation. The use of sulfate reductive bacterial genetic probes did not find any microbial activity expected to form sulfide. These results rejected the hypothesis that the sulfide production was from microbial activity. The Authors now hypothesize that the sulfide reaction was from abiotic reactions of an additive, Zinc Dialkyldithiophosphate ZDDP.

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  • Environmental Health and Safety

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