Slimming Down for Whole Plant Odor Control

Neil A. Webster, P.E.,
Bruce Koetter, P.E.,
Philip Wagoner

BioAir White Paper

Abstract

 

Englewood, Florida is a tourist community of about 15,000 people located on the Gulf of Mexico…  The Englewood Water District (EWD) operates the Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) located in Placida, FL.  The plant receives about 1.8 Million Gallons Per Day (MGD) of wastewater flow during the winter and about 1.1 MGD during the summer months.  Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) concentrations were very high in raw sewage tanks, ranging from 300 to 800 ppm.

The District had received odor complaints from the surrounding community and unfortunately one of their odor control units was mostly ineffective in controlling odors from the facility as some raw sewage tanks were not covered.

Odor control solutions were developed that utilized some of the unique aspects of this treatment plant which significantly reduced the overall costs.  …

The primary objectives of this project were to control odor emissions to the point where odors could no longer be detected by neighbors surrounding the site and to meet the requirements of a Consent Order agreed to with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.  This was achieved by identifying, quantifying and ranking all odor sources at the facility, developing an Odor Control Master Plan and designing/constructing the most reliable, efficient and cost effective odor control facilities possible.  This was accomplished by optimizing the use of existing facilities and providing creative odor control solutions.

Use of Biotrickling Filters for Total Odor Control at Two Municipal WWTPs

Matthew E. Johnson
Louis D. le Roux
William G. Dunn

BioAir White Paper

Abstract

Over the last several years, the Mount Holly Municipal Utilities Authority (MHMUA) in New Jersey has undergone an extensive expansion project.  The treatment capacity of its existing wastewater treatment plant was increased, and a new 3 Mgd plant was constructed.  As part of the expansion program, MHMUA incorporated an extensive odor management program to meet its NJ DEP permit requirements and to minimize the impact on nearby residents, businesses, and travelers.

MHMUA selected BioAir Solutions’ EcoFilter biotrickling filter technology as the desired odor control solution after an extensive review of the odor control products available on the market. The biotrickling filters use plastic, structured synthetic media that represents the latest in biotrickling filter technology, capable of removing both organic and inorganic odors.  The EcoFilter technology combines the sustainability and low operating cost associated with biological treatment with the durability and acid-resistance of synthetic material, which eliminates media maintenance and replacement cost.

The MHMUA project represents the largest biotrickling filter installation in the state of New Jersey. It consists of five biotrickling filters that are installed at various locations at the treatment plants, treating odors from sources such as the grit and screenings building, sludge storage tank, surge tank, rotary drum thickener, gravity thickener, drain pump station, screw conveyor, and headworks.

This paper provides an overview of the project along with performance data for the odor control systems installed at the various locations at the MHMUA wastewater treatment plants.

KEYWORDS: Biotrickling filter, H2S Removal, odor removal, biological odor control

Biotrickling Filters Solve Odor Problems for Mount Holly Municipal Utilities Authority

Louis D. le Roux
Matthew E. Johnson
William G. Dunn

BioAir White Paper

Abstract

The Mount Holly Municipal Utilities Authority (MHMUA) has expanded the treatment capacity of its existing Rancocas Road Wastewater Treatment Plant, and built a new 3 Mgd wastewater plant known as Maple Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plant. As part of its expansion program, MHMUA incorporated an extensive odor management program to meet EPA permit requirements and to be a good citizen to the local communities. The plants are located within close proximity to residences and downtown businesses, as well as major traffic arteries; therefore, the plant adapted a policy of “zero odors” at the fence line.

After an extensive review of various odor control technologies that are commercially available, MHMUA selected BioAir Solutions’ EcoFilter biotrickling filter technology to control odors at the two treatment plants. The biotrickling filters use plastic, structured synthetic media that represents the latest in biotrickling filter technology, capable of removing both organic and inorganic odors. The EcoFilter technology combines the sustainability and low operating cost associated with biological treatment with the durability and acid-resistance of synthetic material, which eliminates media replacement cost.

The odor control equipment consists of five biotrickling filters that are installed at various locations at the treatment plants, treating odors from sources such as the grit and screenings building, sludge storage tank, surge tank, rotary drum thickener, gravity thickener, drain pump station, screw conveyor, and headworks. The MHMUA installation represents the largest biotrickling filter installation in the state of New Jersey.

This paper provides an overview of biotrickling filter technology, along with operating data for the odor control systems installed at the various locations at the MHMUA wastewater treatment plants.

KEYWORDS: Biotrickling filter, HS Removal, odor removal, biological odor control

Biotrickling Filters for Municipal Odor Control – The Next Step!

Louis D. le Roux,
Matthew E. Johnson,
Mark Jason So,
Francis L. de los Reyes

BioAir White Paper

  Abstract

Biotrickling filter (BTF) technology has become a widely accepted and preferred technology for the elimination of odors originating from municipal wastewater treatment plants and collection systems. It is capable of reliable and efficient odor removal, and can be more cost effective and environmentally friendly compared to conventional air pollution control technologies such as biofilters, physical-chemical, or adsorptive technologies. Despite the widespread use of BTFs for municipal odor control, there is still ample room to improve the technology. In particular, BTFs are considered to be very effective in removing inorganic odors, but its ability to remove organic odors is sometimes questioned. This paper reviews the deficiencies in the current BTF science and provides suggestions for further research on how it could be improved to effectively and reliably remove most, if not all, municipal odors to regulated levels.

BTF technology is most often treated as a “black box” and little is known about the complex combination of different physical-chemical and biological phenomena comprising the process. To improve the technology, it is essential that the fundamental mechanisms involved in odor removal be well understood. Key issues such as microbial biofilm architecture and ecology, media characteristics, mechanisms of mass transfer, and control of process conditions warrant further research in order to optimize the technology.

Molecular fingerprinting techniques such as terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) could be used to characterize microbial populations in bioreactors, thus leading to a better understanding of which bacteria are present and their role in the oxidation of inorganic and organic odorous compounds. The use of scanning electron microscopy could provide insight into the biofilm architecture and bacterial morphology. The microbial ecology of a full scale BTF was evaluated using T-RFLP. The results show that T-RFLP can be an effective tool to further the understanding of the complex microbial ecology inside BTFs. Ultimately, such understanding can result in smaller, more efficient biotrickling reactors that effectively remove both inorganic and organic odors.

Keywords: BTFs, biological odor control, organic odor removal

Application of Biotrickling Filter Technology to Treat Off-Gas from Stripping Towers Removing Hydrogen Sulfide from Ground Water

Louis D. le Roux and
Matthew E. Johnson
BioAir White Paper

Abstract

Control of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) emissions from air degasifying towers at water treatment facilities is a high priority for municipalities across North America.  H2S emissions are controlled by the Clean Air Act of 1990 and its Amendments, and thus require removal from the air prior to being discharged into the environment.  The primary regulatory driving force is that of odor nuisance; public health impacts become a concern only at higher H2S concentrations.  Unfortunately, H2S has a very low odor detection threshold, and as a result it has to be removed to concentration levels much lower than what is required by the Clean Air Act.

The use of H2S degrading microorganisms to treat off-gas from degasifying (stripping) towers is an important and developing application of cell immobilization technology.  Biotrickling filter technology utilizes immobilized microbial cells that are attached to a medium inside the reactor.  The H2S is then biologically oxidized (degraded) with microorganisms to odorless compounds.  Since the process relies completely on biological means, it is environmentally-friendly and has a low operating cost compared to physical/chemical alternatives such as chemical scrubbers.

A full-scale biotrickling filter was installed at the JEA Buckman Water Reclamation Facility in Jacksonville, Florida.  The objective was to determine the effect of very low empty bed residence times and high H2S loadings (> 250 g H2S/m3.hr) on the biotrickling filter’s performance.  The biotrickling filter uses structured synthetic EcoBaseTM media that has a life expectancy of more than ten years.

The biotrickling filter inlet and outlet H2S concentrations were continuously measured and recorded with OdaLogs over a 9 month period.  The residence time for the BF reactor was varied between 2.4 and 9.8 s, and the H2S concentration varied between 50 and 350 ppmv for the duration of the test period.

At an average empty bed residence time (EBRT) of 2.8 s, the biotrickling filter removed more than 99% of the H2S at volumetric loading rates up to 272 g/m3.hr.  The H2S removal efficiency was 97% at volumetric loading rates greater than 472 g/m3.hr at the same EBRT.

The results show that the biotrickling filter could effectively remove H2S under very high volumetric loading rates (> 250 g/m3.hr) and short residence times (< 2.8 s).  The significance of this finding is that it is possible to economically treat off-gas from air stripping towers with biotrickling filter technology.  Biotrickling filters are an environmentally-friendly technology and provide benefits over existing chemical scrubber technology such as very low operating cost, low maintenance requirements, and elimination of the use of hazardous chemicals at a similar reactor foot print.

Keywords: biotrickling filter, air stripping, off-gas treatment, hydrogen sulfide removal, biological emissions control, odor control.

Use of Molecular Tools to Identify Microbial Communities in a Full Scale Biotrickling Filter Treating Odors from a Municipal WWTP

Louis D. le Roux
Matthew E. Johnson
Mark Jason So,
Francis L. de los Reyes III

 

BioAir White Paper

Abstract

The use of biotrickling filters (BF) for municipal waste air treatment is an important and emerging application of cell immobilization technology.  BFs utilize microbial cells that are attached to a medium inside the reactor, which then oxidize the odorous constituents to odorless compounds.  Since the process relies almost completely on biological means, it is environmentally friendly and has a very low operating cost.

Most often BF technology is treated as a “black box” and little is known about the complex combination of different physic-chemical and biological phenomena comprising the process.  In order to improve our understanding of the technology, it is essential to know the microorganisms responsible for the oxidation of the odor constituents present in municipal foul air streams.

Novel molecular biology tools and fingerprinting techniques are available to characterize microbial populations in BFs. These techniques have allowed microbial ecologists and environmental engineers to determine microbial community structures in environmental samples without the limitations of traditional approaches such as conventional morphological analyses (staining and microscopy), and culture-based techniques.  The most common approaches used in bioremediation research are those based on the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of 16S rRNA genes.

In this study, the microbial ecology of a full scale, synthetic media BF system treating odors from a municipal sludge processing building was determined using PCR and Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (T-RFLP) and cloning/sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene.  The results show that T-RFLP and cloning/sequencing can be effective tools to further the understanding of the complex microbial ecology inside BFs.  Ultimately, such understanding can result in smaller, more efficient biotrickling reactors that effectively remove both inorganic and organic odors.

Keywords: BFs, biological odor control, molecular tools, 16S rRNA, cloning

Performance of High-Rate Biotrickling Filter Under Ultra-High H2S Loadings at a Municipal WWTP

Louis D. le Roux
Matthew E. Johnson

BioAir White Paper

 

Abstract

A full-scale biotrickling filter (BTF) was installed at the JEA Buckman Water Reclamation Facility in Jacksonville, Florida.  The objective was to determine the effect of very low empty bed residence times (EBRTs) (< 3 s) and high hydrogen sulfide loadings (> 300 g H2S/m3.hr) on the BTF’s performance.  The BTF uses structured synthetic EcoBaseTM media and it was treating air from the biosolids building.

The inlet and outlet H2S concentrations were continuously measured and recorded with OdaLogs over a 6 month period.  The EBRT for the reactor was controlled using a variable frequency drive on the blower motor and varied between 3 and 10 s.  The H2S concentration in the untreated air varied between 50 and 350 ppmv.

At an average EBRT of 2.8 s, the BTF removed more than 99% of the H2S at a volumetric loading rate of 247 g/m3.hr.  The H2S removal efficiency was 95% at a volumetric loading rate of 524 g/m3.hr at the same EBRT.

The results show that the BTF could effectively remove H2S under very high volumetric loading rates (> 300 g/m3.hr) and short residence times (< 3 s).  The significance of this finding is that it is possible to size the BTF reactor at 2.8 s residence time (even at high H2S loadings), which result in a much smaller reactor size and footprint compared to the reactor size required for the higher residence times typically specified for municipal H2S odor removal applications.

Keywords: Biotrickling filter, hydrogen sulfide removal, biological odor control