Description: This report summarizes work performed on this project from April 2004 through September 2004. Our previous work demonstrated that a polyurethane foam biofilter could successfully biodegrade the BTEX contaminants found in the SMZ regeneration waste gas stream. However, establishing the biomass on the polyurethane foam packing was relatively time consuming and daily recirculation of a concentrated nutrient solution was required for efficient operation of the foam biofilter. To simplify the start up and operating requirements of the biofilter system, a simple, compost-based biofilter was investigated for its ability to treat the BTEX contaminants generated during the SMZ regeneration process. The investigation of the compost biofilter was divided into three experimental phases that spanned 180 days of biofilter operation. During Phase 1, the biofilter was continuously supplied a BTEX-contaminated waste gas stream. During Phase 2, a series of periodic shutdown tests were conducted to assess how the biofilter responded when the BTEX feed was discontinued for periods ranging from 1 day to 2.8 days. The Phase 3 experiments focused on determining how the biofilter would handle periodic spikes in inlet BTEX concentration as would be expected when it is coupled with an SMZ column. Results from the continuous feed (Phase 1) experiments demonstrated that the compost biofilter could maintain BTEX removals of greater than 98% within two weeks of startup. Results of the shutdown experiments indicated that benzene removal was the most sensitive to interruptions in the BTEX feed. Nevertheless, the BTEX removal efficiency exceeded 95% within 6 hours of reestablishing the BTEX feed to the biofilter. When the biofilter was subjected to periodic spikes in BTEX concentration (Phase 3), it was found that the total BTEX removal efficiency stabilized at approximately 75% despite the fact that the biofilter was only fed BTEX contaminants 8 hours per day. Finally, the effects ...
Date: September 11, 2004
Creator: Katz, Lynn E.; Kinney, Kerry A.; Bowman, R. S. & Sullivan, E. J.
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