Abstract

A SULPHUSTM biotrickling filter (BTF) and an ACTUSTM polishing activated carbon filter (ACF) were used at a wastewater treatment plant to treat 2,432 m3·h−1 of air extracted from sewage sludge processes. The project is part of Thames Water's strategy to reduce customer odour impact and, in this case, is designed to achieve a maximum discharge concentration of 1,000 ouE·m−3. The odour and hydrogen sulphide concentration in the input air was more influenced by the operation of the sludge holding tank mixers than by ambient temperature. Phosphorus was found to be limiting the performance of the BTF during peak conditions, hence requiring additional nutrient supply. Olfactometry and pollutant measurements demonstrated that during the high rate of change of intermittent odour concentrations the ACF was required to reach compliant stack values. The two stage unit outperformed design criteria, with 139 ouE·m−3 measured after 11 months of operation. At peak conditions and even at very low temperatures, the nutrient addition considerably increased the performance of the BTF, extending the time before activated carbon replacement over the one year design time. During baseline operation, the BTF achieved values between 266–1,647 ouE·m−3 even during a 6 day irrigation failure of the biofilm.

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