American Society of Civil Engineers

Field Performance of Activated Carbon Adsorption for Sewage Air

by Lawrence C. C. Koe, M.ASCE, (Sr. Lect., Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Nat. Univ. of Singapore, Kent Ridge, Singapore 0511) and N. C. Tan, (Engr., Sewerage Dept., Ministry of Envir., 40 Scotts Road, Singapore, 0922)

Journal of Environmental Engineering, Vol. 116, No. 4, July/August 1990, pp. 721-734, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: Sewage air at the inlet works of a municipal wastewater treatment plant, was simultaneously pumped through two pilot columns, one filled with an alkali-impregnated carbon material, while the other was filled with a nonalkali-impregnated grade. Odor and H2S concentrations at the influent and effluent ports of the carbon columns were continuously monitored for about eight months. The odor and H2S concentrations of the influent sewage air varied significantly throughout the study period, averaging 120 SOU/m³ and 5.3 ppm, respectively. Breakthrough of odor at the effluent ports occurred earlier than that for H2S, and the initial breakthrough odor was exerted mainly by non-H/d2S compounds. Although the alkali-impregnated carbon was capable of removing a much larger quantity of H2S than the nonalkali-impregnated grade, its effectiveness in removing other odorous but non-H2S gaseous compounds was less significant. The cost of using nonalkali-impregnated activated carbon for odor removal was comparable to that of the alkali-impregnated carbon. This cost comparison, however, ignores the effect of regeneration of the carbons.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Field tests
Hydrogen sulfides
Activated carbon