Gaseous emissions from the hardboard mill presses at lumber plants contain both volatile and condensable organic compounds (VOC and COC, respectively), as well as fine wood and other very small particulate material. The South Texas Environmental Institute at TexasA&M University-Kingsville(TAMUK) andBioReaction Industries LLC (BRI) are applying an innovative biological and treatment to treat these emissions and are evaluating the potential of this approach to resolve these control issues which are critical to it.
The new biological treatment technology project is funded by U.S. DOE and will demonstrate significantly lower energy use (than regenerative thermal oxidizers (RTOs) or regenerative catalytic oxidizers (RCOs), lower water use (than conventional scrubbers) all the while being less costly than either for maintenance. Once validated through performance testing, scale up of the biological treatment system to treat approximately 100,000 cfm has the potential to save the Stimson Lumber Plant in Forest Grove, Oregon, almost 4.2 billion BTU/yr in energy cost savings, in lieu of installing a thermal oxidizer to eliminate VOC emissions.
The bio-oxidation unit is comprised of a biotrickling filter module and a biomatrix-filled biofilter module in series, with an air flow capacity of up to 10,000 cfm. Current operation is 3000 cfm, providing an EBRT (empty bed residence time) of 40 seconds. The configuration of the pilot system in this manner provides greater flexibility, and will allow many more alternative operational scenarios during the study. Installation of the pilot scale field biological treatment unit for VOC removal testing was completed on August, 15, 2005 at the plant, with start-up operation commencing at that time. TAMUK and BRI personnel are collecting performance data for VOC removals and compliance testing for the new pilot unit to allow further optimization.
Project PI: Dr. Kim Jones, STEI
Project partners: BioReaction Industries, LLC; Stimson Lumber Company
Project Sponsor: U.S. Department of Energy
Funding Level: $277,700