Hydrogen sulfide emission in sewers is associated with toxicity, corrosion, odor nuisance and a lot of costs. The possibility to inhibit sulfide generation by formaldehyde and its derivatives (paraformaldehyde and urea formaldehyde) has been evaluated under anaerobic conditions. The impact of formaldehyde on an activated sludge system and an appraisal of the economic aspects are also presented. The optimum dosage to inhibit sulfide generation in sewage was 12–19 mg L−1 formaldehyde. The dosages of 32 mg L−1 paraformaldehyde or 100 mg L−1 urea formaldehyde were not capable of inhibiting sulfide generation in sewage. The impact of 19 mg L−1 formaldehyde on activated sludge system was negligible in terms of COD removal, nitrification rate and oxygen uptake rate.

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