Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 100, Issue 2, pp 939–948 | Cite as

Biogas desulfurization using autotrophic denitrification process

  • Alper BayrakdarEmail author
  • Ebrahim Tilahun
  • Baris Calli
Environmental biotechnology


The aim of this study was to evaluate the performance of an autotrophic denitrification process for desulfurization of biogas produced from a chicken manure digester. A laboratory scale upflow fixed bed reactor (UFBR) was operated for 105 days and fed with sodium sulfide or H2S scrubbed from the biogas and nitrate as electron donor and acceptor, respectively. The S/N ratio (2.5 mol/mol) of the feed solution was kept constant throughout the study. When the UFBR was fed with sodium sulfide solution with an influent pH of 7.7, about 95 % sulfide and 90 % nitrate removal efficiencies were achieved. However, the inlet of the UFBR was clogged several times due to the accumulation of biologically produced elemental sulfur particles and the clogging resulted in operational problems. When the UFBR was fed with the H2S absorbed from the biogas and operated with an influent pH of 8–9, around 98 % sulfide and 97 % nitrate removal efficiencies were obtained. In this way, above 95 % of the H2S in the biogas was removed as elemental sulfur and the reactor effluent was reused as scrubbing liquid without any clogging problem.


Clogging Elemental sulfur Nitrate Scrubbing Sulfide oxidation 



This work was financially supported by Marmara University Scientific Research Committee BAPKO (Project No. FEN-A-100713-0323).

Compliance with ethical standards


This study was funded by Marmara University Scientific Research Committee BAPKO (Project No. FEN-A-100713-0323).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental EngineeringMarmara UniversityIstanbulTurkey

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