Hydrogen sulfide (H2
S) related to wastewater in sewer systems is known for causing significant problems of corrosion and odor nuisance. Sewer systems severely affected by H2
S typically rely on online H2
S gas sensors for monitoring and control. However, these H2
S gas sensors only provide information about the H2
S emission potential at the point being monitored, which is sometimes inadequate to design control measures. In this study, a comparison of three market-ready online sensors capable of liquid-phase H2
S detection in sewer systems was assessed and compared. Two of the three sensors are based on UV/Vis spectrophotometry, while the other adapted the design and principles of a Clark-type electrochemical microsensor. The H2
S measurements of the sensors were statistically compared to a standard laboratory method at first. Following that, the performance of the online sensors was evaluated under realistic sewer conditions using the Berlin Water Company (BWB) research sewer pilot plant. Test applications representing scenarios of typical H2
S concentrations found in sulfide-affected sewers and during control measures were simulated. The UV/Vis spectrometers showed that the performance of the sensors was highly dependent on the calibration type and measurements used for deriving the calibration function. The electrochemical sensor showed high sensitivity by responding to alternating anaerobic/anoxic conditions simulated during nitrate dosing. All sensors were prone to measurement disturbances due to high amounts of sanitary solids in wastewater at the study site and required continuous maintenance for reliable measurements. Finally, a summary of the key attributes and limitations of the sensors compared for liquid phase H2
S detection is outlined.
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