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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Characterization of Odorous Gases from Various Sources Using Solid Phase Microextraction

Authors
item Kim, Hyunook
item McConnell, Laura
item Millner, Patricia

Submitted to: BARC Poster Day
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 2002
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The number and size of confined animal operations is increasing in the U.S., and complaints from neighbors due to odors are a major problem for producers. Odor is also a problem for large wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) from on-site odors and emissions from biosolids land application sites. Objective, compound-specific analytical methods are needed to accurately determine emissions from animal operations and WWTPs, to evaluate new odor control technologies, and to investigate the chemical mechanisms controlling odor production. However, existing technologies are unreliable. A new analytical method to characterize and quantify odorous gases using solid phase microextraction (SPME) was developed. SPME utilizes a small, coated fiber that equilibrates with the gas phase prior to direct analysis by GC. The fibers are relatively inexpensive, reusable, and can be used in ambient and laboratory experiments for analysis of multiple volatile organic compounds such as sulfides, mercaptans, amines, cresols and volatile fatty acids. Since its development, this method has been successfully applied to characterize and quantify odorous gases from unit processes of a large wastewater treatment plant; to relate odor generation in waste thickeners to the pH and oxidation-reduction potential of the system; and to determine how a major odorant, trimethylamine, was generated during biosolids lime stabilization. In addition, the final products from 15 different commercial composting facilities were evaluated for odor, and a more detailed, 60-day study of odor production during the composting process was also completed.

Technical Abstract: The number and size of confined animal operations is increasing in the U.S., and complaints from neighbors due to odors are a major problem for producers. Odor is also a problem for large wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) from on-site odors and emissions from biosolids land application sites. Objective, compound-specific analytical methods are needed to accurately determine emissions from animal operations and WWTPs, to evaluate new odor control technologies, and to investigate the chemical mechanisms controlling odor production. However, existing technologies are unreliable. A new analytical method to characterize and quantify odorous gases using solid phase microextraction (SPME) was developed. SPME utilizes a small, coated fiber that equilibrates with the gas phase prior to direct analysis by GC. The fibers are relatively inexpensive, reusable, and can be used in ambient and laboratory experiments for analysis of multiple volatile organic compounds such as sulfides, mercaptans, amines, cresols and volatile fatty acids. Since its development, this method has been successfully applied to characterize and quantify odorous gases from unit processes of a large wastewater treatment plant; to relate odor generation in waste thickeners to the pH and oxidation-reduction potential of the system; and to determine how a major odorant, trimethylamine, was generated during biosolids lime stabilization. In addition, the final products from 15 different commercial composting facilities were evaluated for odor, and a more detailed, 60-day study of odor production during the composting process was also completed.

Last Modified: 9/20/2014
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