Olivia Boudjouk

Electrode Material Determination for Hydrogen Sulfide Removal in Bovine Manure

Hydrogen sulfide is a toxic and corrosive gas that often builds up in enclosed areas with large amounts of manure, such as dairy farms, due to anaerobic decomposition. Electrochemical treatment of the manure is used to reduce the production of hydrogen sulfide. Low-carbon steel has previously been determined to be an effective electrode material for this treatment; however, it is costly and highly sacrificial. Copper, aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium were tested to determine if they would be suitable materials to replace low-carbon steel in treatment. Copper was the only material effective at reducing hydrogen sulfide concentration at rates comparable to that of low-carbon steel. However, the mechanism by which hydrogen sulfide is reduced suggests the release of copper ions, a heavy metal with negative environmental consequences. The possible negative enviornmnetal consequences negate copper's effectiveness at reducing hydrogen sulfide production. As such, low-carbon steel remains the best electrode material choice.