Evaluation of continuous and intermittent trickling strategies for the removal of hydrogen sulfide in a biotrickling filter
Biotrickling filter (BTF) is a widely applied bioreactor for odour abatement in sewer networks. The trickling strategy is vital for maintaining a sound operation of BTF. This study employed a lab-scale BTF packed with granular activated carbon at a short empty bed residence time of 6 s and pH 1–2 to evaluate different trickling strategies, i.e., continuous trickling (different velocities) and intermittent trickling (different trickling intervals), in terms of the removal of hydrogen sulfide (H2S), bed pressure drop, H2S oxidation products and microbial community. The H2S removal performance decreased with the trickling velocity (∼3.6 m/h) in BTF. In addition, three intermittent trickling strategies, i.e., 10-min trickling per 24 h, 8 h, and 2 h, were investigated. The H2S elimination capacity deteriorated after about 2 weeks under both 10-min trickling per 24 h and 8 h. For both intermittent (10-min trickling per 2 h) and continuous trickling, the BTF exhibited nearly 100 % H2S removal for inlet H2S concentrations<100 ppmv, but intermittent BTF showed better removal performance than continuous trickling when inlet H2S increased to 120–190 ppmv. Furthermore, the bed pressure drops were 333 and 3888 Pa/m for non-trickling and trickling periods, respectively, which makes intermittent BTF save 83 % energy consumption of the blower compared with continuous tirckling. However, intermittent BTF exhibited transient H2S breakthrough (<1 ppmv) during trickling periods. Moreover, elemental sulfur and sulfate were major products of H2S oxidation and Acidithiobacillus was the dominant genus in both intermittent and continuous trickling BTF. A mathematical model was calibrated for the intermittent BTF and a sensitivity analysis was performed on the model. It shows mass transfer parameters determine the H2S removal. Overall, intermittent trickling strategy is promising for improving odour abatement performance and reducing the operating cost of the BTF.
Open Access Status
This publication is not available as open access
China Scholarship Council