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INVESTIGATION OF PHYSICAL AND BIOLOGICAL PROPERTIES OF A FULL SCALE AND A PILOT SCALE BIOFILTER

by SMITH, MARK DAVID

Abstract (Summary)
The United States Environmental Protection Agency does not regulate the air emissions of volatile compounds from municipal waste treatment plants as of this writing. There have been proposals for changes in this requirement. California has already enacted legislation to limit the emissions from wastewater treatment plants, and many municipalities recognize that the regulations to limit these emissions are inevitable. In order to be prepared for new regulations, The Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati has taken a proactive approach to limiting their volatile emissions. This approach will make it easier to comply with the proposed regulations. The purpose of this research project was to determine the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOC's) and other hazardous materials from a biofilter operating at a representative municipal wastewater treatment plant. The research involved the monitoring of a biofilter that controls the gas emissions from a sludge holding tank. A correlation was developed between an operating biofilter and the physical and biological properties of the biofilter. The study was performed at the Polk Run Wastewater Treatment Plant. This plant treats primarily residential sewage. The average daily flow is 3.5 million gallons. This plant serves the residential community of Loveland, Ohio and the surrounding suburban area. This study confirmed that a biofilter is an effective method for controlling odors and emission of volatile compounds from a sludge holding tank at a municipal wastewater treatment plant. The main gaseous emission identified and the source of the predominant odors was determined to be hydrogen sulfide gas. The bacteria and fungi found in the biofilter controlled this odor by reducing the concentration of hydrogen sulfide gas. The bacteria found in the biofilter were identified as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Salmonella. These bacteria are commonly found in wastewater. The wood bark in the biofilter provided the medium for bacterial and fungal growth. The optimum conditions for this biofilter were found to include temperatures from 20 to 35 degrees C and relative humidity of 90 to 95%. Under these conditions, an approximately 95% reduction in the concentration of hydrogen sulfide gas was achieved. The project was funded by The Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:University of Cincinnati

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:biofilter air treatment biofiltration

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2001

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