Hydrogen sulfide absorption and oxidation by corroding concrete surfaces was quantified in a test rig consisting of 6 concrete pipes operated under sewer conditions. The test rig was placed in an underground sewer monitoring station with access to fresh wastewater. Hydrogen sulfide gas was injected into the pipe every 2nd hour to peak concentrations around 1000 ppm. After some months of operation, the hydrogen sulfide became rapidly oxidized by the corroding concrete surfaces. At hydrogen sulfide concentrations of 1000 ppm, oxidation rates as high as 1 mg S m − 2 s − 1 were observed. The oxidation process followed simple nth order kinetics with a process order of 0.45–0.75. Extrapolating the results to gravity sewer systems showed that hydrogen sulfide oxidation by corroding concrete is a fast process compared to the release of hydrogen sulfide from the bulk water, resulting in low gas concentrations compared with equilibrium. Balancing hydrogen sulfide release with hydrogen sulfide oxidation at steady state conditions demonstrated that significant corrosion rates—several millimeters of concrete per year—can potentially occur at hydrogen sulfide gas phase concentrations well below 5–10 ppm. The results obtained in the study advances the knowledge on prediction of sewer concrete corrosion and the extent of odor problems.
Science of the Total Environment – Elsevier
Published: May 1, 2008
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