Biofiltration is the most widely used technique for eliminating odours in waste treatment plants (WTP). Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are among the odorous compounds emitted by WTP, and serve as variables to measure odour emissions depending on the type of aeration process used.
In this work, the performance and efficiency of an industrial-scale biofilter was assessed where composting was the main source of VOCs and odour emissions.
M.C. Gutiérreza, M.A. Martína, E. Pagansb, L. Verab, J. García-Olmoc and A.F. Chicaa
a. Universidad de Córdoba (España), Departamento de Química Inorgánica e Ingeniería Química, Campus Universitario de Rabanales, Carretera N-IV, km 396, Edificio Marie Curie, 14071 Córdoba, Spain
b. Odournet SL, Parc de Recerca (UAB), Edificio Eureka, Espacio P2M2, 08193, Bellaterra, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona, Spainc. NIR/MIR Spectroscopy Unit, Servicio Central de Apoyo a la Investigación (SCAI), Universidad de Córdoba, Campus de Rabanales, 14071, Córdoba, Spain
Competing interests: The author has declared that no competing interests exist.
Academic editor: Carlos N Díaz.
Content quality: This paper has been peer reviewed by at least two reviewers. See scientific committee here
Citation: M.C. Gutiérrez, M.A. Martín, E. Pagans, L. Vera, J. García-Olmo and A.F. Chica, 2015, Dynamic olfactometry and GC–TOFMS to monitor the efficiency of an industrial biofilter, III International Conference of Odours in the Environment, Bilbao, Spain, www.olores.org
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Keyword: odour concentration, volatile organic compounds (COVs), composting, principal component analysis (PCA), partial least-squares (PLS)
Biofiltration is the most widely used technique for eliminating odours in waste treatment plants (WTP). Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are among the odorous compounds emitted by WTP, and serve as variables to measure odour emissions depending on the type of aeration process used. In this work, we assessed the performance and efficiency of an industrial-scale biofilter where composting was the main source of VOCs and odour emissions. Dynamic olfactometry was the sensorial technique used to determine odour concentration, while gas chromatography–time of flight-mass spectrometry (GC–TOFMS) was used to perform the chemical characterization. This work examined a total of 82 compounds belonging to 15 odorous families of VOCs, particularly mercaptans, sulphur-containing compounds, alcohols and terpenes, among others. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to assess the influence of each of these families of COVs on the total variance of the measure with regard to both the input and output flow of the biofilter. Finally, partial least-squares (PLS) regression was used to estimate the odour concentration in each of the samples taken at the inlet and outlet of the biofilter in each of the samples based on the chemical information provided by chromatographic analysis. The study showed that there was an adequate correlation (r = 0.9751) between real and estimated odour concentrations, both of which were expressed in European odour units per cubic metre (ouE•m−3).
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