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Waste Manag. 2013 Jan;33(1):18-25. doi: 10.1016/j.wasman.2012.09.009. Epub 2012 Oct 1.

A comparative study of two composts as filter media for the removal of gaseous reduced sulfur compounds (RSCs) by biofiltration: application at industrial scale.

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Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour (UPPA), Laboratoire de Thermique, Energétique et Procédés (LaTEP), Equipe Traitement des Effluents Gazeux Site de Tarbes, Département Génie des Procédés, Quartier Bastillac, 65000 Tarbes, France.


This work presents the use of two composts as filter media for the treatment by biofiltration of odors emitted during the aerobic composting of a mixture containing sewage sludge and yard waste. The chemical analysis of the waste gas showed that the malodorous compounds at trace level were the reduced sulfur compounds (RSCs) which were dimethyl sulfide (Me(2)S), methanethiol (MeSH) and hydrogen sulfide (H(2)S). Laboratory tests for biofiltration treatment of RSCs were performed in order to compare the properties of two filter media, consisted of a mature compost with yard waste (YW) and a mixture of mature compost with sewage sludge and yard waste (SS/YW). The maximum elimination capacity (EC) values obtained with the YW mature compost as packing material were 12.5 mg m(-3)h(-1) for H(2)S, 7.9 mg m(-3)h(-1) for MeSH and 34 mg m(-3)h(-1) for Me(2)S, and the removal efficiency decreased in the order of: H(2)S>MeSH>Me(2)S. Moreover, the YW compost filter medium had a better behavior than the filter medium based on SS/YW in terms of acclimation of the microbial communities and moisture content. According to these results, a YW mature compost as packing material for an industrial biofilter were designed and this industrial biofilter was found effective under specified conditions (without inoculation and addition of water). The results showed that the maximum EC value of RSCs was 935 mg m(-3)h(-1) (100% removal efficiency, RE) for an inlet loads (IL) between 0 and 1000 mg m(-3)h(-1). Thus, YW compost medium was proven efficient for biofiltration of RSCs both at laboratory and industrial scale.

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