Demo Validates Biotrickling Filter at Wastewater Treatment Plant

An extensive research and development project by BioAir Solutions with the assistance of JEA, a Florida-based municipal utility, has demonstrated that the company’s full-scale biotrickling filter can remove hydrogen sulfide and other organic odorous compounds from wastewater treatment airstreams under very high volumetric loading rates in very short residence times.

The company will present those findings during a technical presentation at the Florida Water Resources Conference to be held May 16-18 in Orlando, Fla.

The results show that the biotrickling filter — which uses the company’s proprietary EcoBase™ structured synthetic media — can treat the same amount of air as competing technologies, in a unit one-third the size and in one-third the residence time (less than 3 seconds).

Data collected during the year-long research project at the Florida utility showed that the media removed more than 98 percent of all odors, including more than 99.9 percent removal of hydrogen sulfide odors without the use of chemicals or carbon adsorbents. The synthetic media provides uniform air flow distribution, optimized mass transfer of odor compounds, and a controlled microenvironment enabling the growth and proliferation of specific odor-removing bacterial species.

“Since management of air contaminants and odorous compounds from municipal wastewater treatment plants has become a significant activity for the more than 16,000 municipalities in the United States, the findings of this study are very important,” said Louis le Roux, president of BioAir Solutions. “For many years, odorous compounds such as hydrogen sulfide were removed from wastewater treatment plants using chemical scrubbers or carbon solutions. However, the drawbacks of these methods like high operating costs and the use of hazardous chemicals have required new solutions such as biotrickling filters to handle odor issues.”

Biotrickling filter technology uses a “fixed film” microbial layer that is attached to a medium inside a reactor, which then metabolizes (oxidizes) the odorous constituents into odorless compounds. Since municipal odors consist of both organic and inorganic odors, two different bacteria are used in biotrickling filters.

BioAir Solutions, established in 2008, develops new technologies and solutions to make biological odor and air emissions control more efficient, reliable and cost-effective for municipal and industrial wastewater treatment facilities.

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