The removal of high concentrations of H2S from waste gases containing mixtures of H2S and NH3 was studied using the pilot-scale biofilter. Granular activated carbon (GAC), selected as support material in this study, demonstrated its high adsorption capacity for H2S and good gas distribution. Extensive tests to determine removal characteristics, removal efficiency, and removal capacity of high H2S levels and coexisting NH3 in the system were performed. In seeking the appropriate operating conditions, the response surface methodology (RSM) was employed. H2S removal capacities were evaluated by the inoculated bacteria (biological conversion) and BDST (Bed Depth Service Time) methods (physical adsorption). An average 98% removal efficiency for 0.083-0.167 mg dm-3 of H2S and 0.004-0.021 mg dm-3 of NH3 gases was achieved during the operational period because of rapid physical adsorption by GAC and subsequently an effective biological regeneration of GAC by inoculated Pseudomonas putida CH11 and Arthrobacter oxydans CH8. The results showed that H2S removal efficiency for the system was not affected by inlet NH3 concentrations. In addition, no acidification was observed in the BAC biofilter. High buffer capacity and low moisture demand were also advantages of this system. The maximal inlet loading and critical loading for the system were 18.9 and 7.7 g-H2S m-3 h-1, respectively. The results of this study could be used as a guide for the further design and operation of industrial-scale systems.