Removing hydrogen sulfide (H2S) from gas streams is a key concern when it comes to treating landfill gas for regulatory compliance and beneficial end use requirements. Golden, Colo.-based MV Technologies is a leading expert in dry scrubber H2S removal solutions; offering cost-effective compliance through superior media technologies and proven system designs that optimize performance and improve ease of changeout.
MV is best known for its iron sponge-based H2SPlus systems yet many are unaware that MV also offers alternative granular solutions and replacement media for existing systems.
Waste360 recently spoke with Tom Jones, vice president of MV Technologies, to learn more about MV’s decision to use AxTrap high-capacity H2S removal media in its granular-based SulfAx System design and what this means for the landfill segment, in particular.
Waste360: Tell us a little bit about MV Technologies and its product offerings.
Tom Jones: MV Technologies is a leading provider of hydrogen sulfide removal solutions for landfill gas and biogas treatment applications as well as odor control. MV combines superior media technologies with proven system designs to deliver consistent, reliable and high-performance H2S removal solutions to meet our customers’ unique project parameters.
At MV, we look at each unique facility, and we design a solution around their flow rates, H2S concentrations, temperatures, pressures, etc. We work with our customers to find the best solution for their needs, whether it’s B.A.M. iron sponge, AxTrap high-capacity granular or another solution. Most importantly, MV guarantees our performance and operating costs. Currently, we have about 70 H2S removal systems in the U.S., as well as systems in Canada and Australia.
Waste360: How do you determine when to use an iron sponge-based system versus a granular-based system for H2S removal from landfill gas?
Tom Jones: First, we talk to our customers and find out what’s important to them. Operating costs is often high on their list, so we take that into consideration when figuring out which system works best for each customer.
We approach projects through the lens of lowest cost per pound of H2S removed and combine that with our customers’ unique project parameters. If the H2S removal requirement is between 5,000 and 300,000 pounds per year, a dry scrubber H2S removal system is often the most cost-effective solution. If the H2S removal requirement is less than 25,000 pounds per year, a granular, iron oxide-coated media is often the most cost-effective solution. It really depends on what our customers’ greatest priority is. There are so many variables to consider, so often times we will provide a budgetary quote and projected operating costs for both systems so customers can compare and contrast.
Waste360: What are the technical advantages of using AxTrap over other media?
Tom Jones: H2S reacts with iron oxide. With an H2SPlus system, the iron oxide is on a wood chip, and with a SulfAx system, the iron oxide is on a zeolite-based granular media. The advantages are that the zeolite-based AxTrap is a nonbinding reaction, and it could be rehydrated if necessary. With a lot of iron oxide-coated medias, the iron oxide dries out and loses its ability to react with the H2S. But with the AxTrap, you can add water to it and rehydrate it if the media dries out. This facilitates the reaction again so that you don’t lose your ability to react and you don’t lose the H2S removal capacity of the media over time.
Another advantage is that AxTrap is nonflammable, so even if the media is partially reacted, it will not ignite like some other media. AxTrap also offers a range of varieties based on constituents that may be present in the gas as well as disposal requirements, and it’s easy to remove and doesn’t require operators to labor with a high pressure washer to remove it from the vessel.
Waste360: What challenges have you experienced in the adoption of AxTrap media for use in landfill applications and how did you overcome those challenges?
Tom Jones: One of the biggest hurdles that we have to overcome is replacing existing systems. A lot of our customers don’t want to make the capital investment for a new system, so we have to make sure that we can utilize their existing system with AxTrap media.
A lot of times, we will find out that the systems they have in place aren’t necessarily properly designed, so we have to go in and look at how we can make some slight modifications to maximize the efficiency of the system with AxTrap media.
Another challenge we are faced with is the bedlife of these systems, which is anywhere between three months and up to a year or more. We need to be in front of the customer when they are making the decision to do a changeout because you need to see if they are willing to try a new media and how that would play out. Staying in constant contact with our customers is key to success on both ends of the spectrum.
Waste360: Why is it so important for operators to remove H2S from their systems?
Tom Jones: There are several reasons. For one, it’s a permit condition on their air permit, and they are required to have it down to a certain level. Secondly, operators want to protect their engines and their gas processing equipment. H2S is a highly corrosive gas, and if it’s not removed, it will corrode the moving and wearing parts on a system. Lastly, operators are trying to make pipeline-quality gas, and they need to remove the H2S before they can actually put it into the pipeline.
Often, operators will treat some of their gas and then re-blend it to meet the requirements for their permits. However, most of our customers end up treating all of their gas instead of just a portion of it because they have found that their systems operate much smoother and that their operating and maintenance costs are much lower if they treat it all.
Waste360: What would you like our readers to take away from this interview?
Tom Jones: There are several things of importance. First, MV Technologies and our engineers on staff are experts when it comes to removing H2S from gas streams. We work with landfill gas, biogas, digester gas, etc., across a range of industry applications. Second, we want to make sure that our customers are making the right decision in terms of removing H2S from their gas streams, whether it’s B.A.M. iron sponge, AxTrap high-capacity granular media or another solution. Third, we can help customers lower their operating costs for the long term by making slight adjustments to their current systems and by upgrading their media to AxTrap media. Lastly, we don’t just sell media and leave operators to fend for themselves; we ensure the end users’ experience is positive to the best of our ability.