Optimization of a horizontal-flow biofilm reactor for the removal of methane at low temperatures
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Clifford, E. Kennelly, C.; Walsh, R.; Gerrity, S.; Reilly, E.O.; Collins, G. (2012). Optimization of a horizontal-flow biofilm reactor for the removal of methane at low temperatures. Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association 62 (10), 1166-1173
Three pilot-scale, horizontal-flow biofilm reactors (HFBRs 1-3) were used to treat methane (CH4)-contaminated air to assess the potential of this technology to manage emissions from agricultural activities, waste and wastewater treatment facilities, and landfills. The study was conducted over two phases (Phase 1, lasting 90 days and Phase 2, lasting 45 days). The reactors were operated at 10 degrees C (typical of ambient air and wastewater temperatures in northern Europe), and were simultaneously dosed with CH4-contaminated air and a synthetic wastewater (SWW). The influent loading rates to the reactors were 8.6 g CH4/m(3)/hr (4.3 g CH4/m(2) TPSA/hr; where TPSA is top plan surface area). Despite the low operating temperatures, an overall average removal of 4.63 g CH4/m(3)/day was observed during Phase 2. The maximum removal efficiency (RE) for the trial was 88%. Potential (maximum) rates of methane oxidation were measured and indicated that biofilm samples taken from various regions in the HFBRs had mostly equal CH4 removal potential. In situ activity rates were dependent on which part of the reactor samples were obtained. The results indicate the potential of the HFBR, a simple and robust technology, to biologically treat CH4 emissions.