Alternative selection in odour treatment technologies: sustainability and economical sensitivity

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Selection criteria for odour abatement technologies have been traditionally economic and based on the flow rate to be treated, odour concentration (or of a certain surrogate such as H2S) and removal efficiency. However, nowadays social and environmental aspects are starting to gain importance

J. M. Estrada1, B. Kraakman2,3, G. Quijano1, R. Lebrero1, R. Muñoz1
1 Valladolid University, Department of Chemical Engineering and Environment Technology
2 CH2M HILL Australia
3 Delft University of Technology, Department of Biotechnology

Keywords: adsorption, biofiltration, chemical scrubber, environmental impact, odour abatement, operating costs.


sesion4 estrada01Abstract

Selection criteria for odour abatement technologies have been traditionally economic and based on the flow rate to be treated, odour concentration (or of a certain surrogate such as H2S) and removal efficiency. However, nowadays social and environmental aspects are starting to gain importance.

Odour abatement systems are designed to operate over long periods of time (20-30 years) and under dynamic scenarios and conditions. Therefore, an economic analysis of sensitivity of the operating costs towards different design and operational parameters is crucial.


This study summarizes the results from comparative sustainability analyses of the most applied technologies in the field of odour abatement: activated carbon adsorption, activated sludge diffusion, biofiltration, biotrickling filters, chemical scrubbers and hybrid systems (biotrickling filter + adsorption). Based on commodity prices and real market data provided by different manufacturers, the analysis revealed that technologies with low investment costs present high operating costs and are mainly physical/chemical technologies. Biological alternatives show lower operating costs and environmental impacts.

In terms of economic sensitivity, biological technologies show lower sensitivity towards design and operating parameters than their physical-chemical counterparts. The main drawback of physical-chemical technologies is their high sensitivity towards variations in the H2S concentration of odorous emissions due to their high chemicals and adsorption agents requirements. In economic and environmental terms, activated sludge diffusion and biotrickling filters stand out as the most promising technologies for a near future.


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