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Development of Biotrickling Filters to Treat Sulfur and VOC Emissions

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Final rept. 24 Nov 1998-31 May 2000, Phase 2

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The objective of this Phase II Option Small Business Innovation Research project was to design, construct, install, and measure the effectiveness of a full-scale biotrickling filter BTF to treat volatile organic compounds VOCs and odorous sulfur air emissions from wastewater load equalization and treatment tanks at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, CA. BTFs are similar to chemical scrubbers, but rely on microorganisms on the packing surface to remove and oxidize contaminants rather than chemicals. The full-scale BTF is 3.1 m 10 ft in diameter and 9.1 m 30 ft in height. The reactor is an air downflow system and operates in concurrent fashion with a recirculating water phase. Operation began in early December 1999. System performance has demonstrated good removal of the odorous inorganic compounds nuisance odors have been substantially reduced and water-soluble organic hazardous air pollutants, while the less water-soluble VOCs have not been removed completely. Adaptation by the system microorganisms to the low aqueous concentrations of these compounds appears to be occurring slowly, and removal of these compounds is improving as additional biomass growth occurs in the lower media layer. Pressure drops across the entire system are very low and the necessary operator attention is at a minimum.

Subject Categories:

  • Pumps, Filters, Pipes, Tubing, Fittings and Valves
  • Air Pollution and Control

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