NO removal in continuous BioDeNOx reactors: Fe(II)EDTA2− regeneration, biomass growth, and EDTA degradation

Authors

  • Peter van der Maas,

    1. Sub-Department of Environmental Technology, Wageningen University, PO Box 8129, 6700 EV Wageningen, The Netherlands; telephone: +31 317 483851; fax: +31 317 482108
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  • Paula van den Brink,

    1. Sub-Department of Environmental Technology, Wageningen University, PO Box 8129, 6700 EV Wageningen, The Netherlands; telephone: +31 317 483851; fax: +31 317 482108
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  • Sudarno Utomo,

    1. Sub-Department of Environmental Technology, Wageningen University, PO Box 8129, 6700 EV Wageningen, The Netherlands; telephone: +31 317 483851; fax: +31 317 482108
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  • Bram Klapwijk,

    1. Sub-Department of Environmental Technology, Wageningen University, PO Box 8129, 6700 EV Wageningen, The Netherlands; telephone: +31 317 483851; fax: +31 317 482108
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  • Piet Lens

    Corresponding author
    1. Sub-Department of Environmental Technology, Wageningen University, PO Box 8129, 6700 EV Wageningen, The Netherlands; telephone: +31 317 483851; fax: +31 317 482108
    • Sub-Department of Environmental Technology, Wageningen University, PO Box 8129, 6700 EV Wageningen, The Netherlands; telephone: +31 317 483851; fax: +31 317 482108
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Abstract

BioDeNOx is a novel technique for NOx removal from industrial flue gases. In principle, BioDeNOx is based on NO absorption into an aqueous Fe(II)EDTA2− solution combined with biological regeneration of that scrubber liquor in a bioreactor. The technical and economical feasibility of the BioDeNOx concept is strongly determined by high rate biological regeneration of the aqueous Fe(II)EDTA2− scrubber liquor and by EDTA degradation. This investigation deals with the Fe(II)EDTA2− regeneration capacity and EDTA degradation in a lab-scale BioDeNOx reactor (10–20 mM Fe(II)EDTA2−, pH 7.2 ± 0.2, 55°C), treating an artificial flue gas (1.5 m3/h) containing 60–155 ppm NO and 3.5–3.9% O2. The results obtained show a contradiction between the optimal redox state of the aqueous FeEDTA solution for NO absorption and the biological regeneration. A low redox potential (below −150 mV vs. Ag/AgCl) is needed to obtain a maximal NO removal efficiency from the gas phase via Fe(II)EDTA2− absorption. Fe(III)EDTA reduction was found to be too slow to keep all FeEDTA in the reduced state. Stimulation of Fe(III)EDTA reduction via periodical sulfide additions (2 mM spikes twice a week for the conditions applied in this study) was found to be necessary to regenerate the Fe(II)EDTA2− scrubber liquor and to achieve stable operation at redox potentials below −150 mV (pH 7.2 ± 0.2). However, redox potentials of below −200 mV should be avoided since sulfide accumulation is unwanted because it is toxic for NO reduction. Very low values for biomass growth rate and yield, respectively, 0.043/d and 0.009 mg protein per mg ethanol, were observed. This might be due to substrate limitations, that is the electron acceptors NO and presumably polysulfide, or to physiological stress conditions induced by the EDTA rich medium or by radicals formed in the scrubber upon the oxidation of Fe(II)EDTA2− by oxygen present in the flue gas. Radicals possibly also induce EDTA degradation, which occurs at a substantial rate: 2.1 (±0.1) mM/d under the conditions investigated. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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