Microaeration for hydrogen sulfide removal during anaerobic treatment: a review

Lucie Krayzelova, Jan Bartacek, Israel Díaz, David Jeison, Eveline I.P. Volcke, Pavel Jenicek

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations

Abstract

High sulfide concentrations in biogas are a major problem associated with the anaerobic treatment of sulfate-rich substrates. It causes the corrosion of concrete and steel, compromises the functions of cogeneration units, produces the emissions of unpleasant odors, and is toxic to humans. Microaeration, i.e. the dosing of small amounts of air (oxygen) into an anaerobic digester, is a highly efficient, simple and economically feasible technique for hydrogen sulfide removal from biogas. Due to microaeration, sulfide is oxidized to elemental sulfur by the action of sulfide oxidizing bacteria. This process takes place directly in the digester. This paper reviews the most important aspects and recent developments of microaeration technology. It describes the basic principles (microbiology, chemistry) of microaeration and the key technological factors influencing microaeration. Other aspects such as process economy, mathematical modelling and control strategies are discussed as well. Besides its advantages, the limitations of microaeration such as partial oxidation of soluble substrate, clogging the walls and pipes with elemental sulfur or toxicity to methanogens are pointed out as well. An integrated mathematical model describing microaeration has not been developed so far and remains an important research gap.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)703-725
Number of pages23
JournalReviews in Environmental Science and Biotechnology
Volume14
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Biogas
  • Elemental sulfur
  • Hydrogen sulfide removal
  • Microaeration
  • Sulfide oxidizing bacteria

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