In this study, oxidation-reduction potential (ORP) was used as a controlling parameter to regulate oxygen dosing to the recycled biogas for online sulfide oxidation in an upflow anaerobic filter (UAF) system. The UAF was operated with a constant influent COD of 18,000 mg/L, but with different influent sulfates of 1000, 3000 and 6000 mg/L. The reactor was initially operated under a natural ORP of -290 mV (without oxygen injection), and was then followed by oxygenation to raise its ORP by 25 mV above the natural level for each influent sulfate condition. At 6,000 mg/L sulfate without oxygen injection, the dissolved sulfide reached 733.8 mg S/L with a corresponding free sulfide of 250.3 mg S/L, thus showing a considerable inhibition to methanogens. Upon oxygenation to raise its ORP to -265 mV (i.e., a 25 mV increase), the dissolved sulfide was reduced by more than 98.5% with a concomitant 45.9% increase of the methane yield. Under lower influent sulfate levels of 1,000 and 3,000 mg/L, the levels of sulfides produced, even under the natural ORP, did not impose any noticeable toxicity to methanogens. Upon oxygenation to raise the ORP by +25 mV, the corresponding methane yields were actually reduced by 15.5% and 6.2%, respectively. However, such reductions were not due to the adverse impact of the elevated ORP; instead, they were due to a diversion of some organic carbon to support the facultative activities inside the reactor as a result of excessive oxygenation. In other words, to achieve satisfactory sulfide oxidation for the lower influent sulfate conditions, it was not necessary to raise the ORP by as much as +25 mV. The ORP increase actually needed depended on both the influent sulfate and also actual wastewater characteristics. This study had proved that the ORP controlled oxygenation was reliable for achieving consistent online sulfide control.

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