August 21, 2020

Project to reduce sulfur emissions receives Nebraska Environmental Trust grant



A University of Nebraska-Lincoln project that aims to reduce sulfur emissions through a biological odor treatment has received a $97,662 grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust.

The state of Nebraska has an ambient air quality standard for total reduced sulfur, which consists primarily of hydrogen sulfide (H2S). This application proposes to design and test an economical odor treatment system that will contribute to lower ambient H2S and other gas phase pollutants. The novel concept of the concentrator has the potential for new patents and a broad implementation.

Using adsorption/desorption processes, concentrated H2S will result in a smaller reactor volume for reduced direct and operational costs in a bio-trickling filter. The concentrator will consist of three adsorption beds for adsorbing the contaminant, desorbing the loaded bed and drying the adsorbing bed. Tripling the H2S concentration will result in reducing about 40% of the cost in the biological treatment.

The university is collaborating with the Loup Central Landfill near Elba, where the bio-trickling filter will be installed and tested. Additionally, laboratory experiments will examine the cyclic adsorption and desorption rates of H2S by evaluating raw zeolite and activated carbon manufactured from bituminous and coconut sources in granular, powder and fibrous forms. Regeneration of H2S will be tested by water and air; water will be introduced at different temperatures, pHs and flow rates.

Plans are to have an open house next spring to show off the filter.

The project is one of the 118 projects receiving $20 million in grant awards from the Nebraska Environmental Trust this year. Of these, 73 were new applications and 45 are carry-over projects.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Environmental Trust in 1992. Using revenue from the Nebraska Lottery, the trust has provided more than $328 million in grants to more than 2,300 projects across the state. Anyone — citizens, organizations, communities, farmers and businesses — can apply for funding to protect habitat, improve water quality and establish recycling programs in Nebraska. The Nebraska Environmental Trust works to preserve, protect and restore the state’s natural resources for future generations