Biotrickling filters for biogas sweetening: oxygen transfer improvement for a reliable operation
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An industrial-scale biotrickling filter for the removal of high concentrations of H2S is described in this work. The system has been operating at H2S inlet concentrations between 1000 and 3000 ppmv at acidic conditions. A decrease of pH from 2.6 to 1.8 did not affect the biological activity inside the biofilter while reducing the water make-up consumption up to 75%. The current oxygen supply system, based on direct injection of air to the liquid phase, has demonstrated to be inefficient for a long-term operation leading to elemental sulfur accumulation in the packing material (i.e. promoting clogging episodes). The present study demonstrates it is possible to partially remove (40.3%) the deposited elemental sulfur by bio-oxidation when biogas is not fed. In normal operation conditions, the implementation of an aeration system based on jet-venturi devices has shown quite promising results in terms of oxygen transfer efficiency and robustness. Such improvement of oxygen transfer was translated in a better conversion of H2S to sulfate, which increased around 17%, prolonging the lifespan operation at low-pressure drop.
CitationRodríguez, G. [et al.]. Biotrickling filters for biogas sweetening: oxygen transfer improvement for a reliable operation. "Process safety and environmental protection", 2014, vol. 92, núm. 3, p. 261-268.