Industrial odours are produced by a variety of organisations and facilities, including wastewater treatment and chemical processing, to food manufacturing, the development of infrastructure, rubbish incineration and more. Problem odours can be generated by many different industrial processes, for example:
Industrial odours are also affected by environmental factors; for example, higher temperatures almost always lead to intensified odours, and the speed or direction of the wind can carry odours greater distances or in different directions. As towns and cities continue to grow and sprawl, this is becoming more of a problem. Facilities that used to be fairly isolated from the general population are facing the challenge of operating with ever-closer neighbours, making odour elimination increasingly important.
An odour nuisance is considered to be pollution, as it can cause stress and reduce a person’s quality of life. Without proper odour control, industrial odours can drift into surrounding areas and cause stakeholders to complain. An organisation’s failure to act upon complaints received will often lead to complaints being taken to local Government and the media, which can do serious damage to a brand’s reputation. Even if odours are successfully restricted to the plant or facility itself, constant exposure to offensive odours at work can severely affect the mental health and job satisfaction of employees. Insufficient odour control can also leave a business in breach of EPA regulations and IPPC license requirements, which could culminate in licenses being revoked, as well as some hefty fines.
The successful abatement of industrial odours is vital, if organisations are to remain compliant with regulations, and avoid damaging relations with its stakeholders. Emissions from industrial operations, chemical plants and wastewater treatment facilities are under continuous public and government scrutiny. If your organisation has the potential to emit industrial odours, it’s imperative to follow the common best practices for industrial odour control.
There are a range of options for odour abatement that can be applied, depending on the source and root cause of the problem.
Air scrubbing systems are a very successful method of removing both particulates and gases from industrial exhaust streams in a single system. They work by passing contaminated air through a scrubbing liquid, typically water, though it could also be a chemical solution or include activated carbon. Particulates or gases are collected in the scrubbing liquid, which is then treated and disposed of safely. Air scrubbing systems are most commonly found at industrial sites like petroleum refineries, chemical processing facilities, acid manufacturing plants, and steelworks.
Photo-ionisation systems work by applying high intensity ultra-violet (UV) light and using specialised catalysts to effectively remove certain odours from contaminated air. These systems have the added benefit of actually disinfecting the air, while also using no chemicals, less power, and taking up less space than other treatment options.
Activated carbon is renowned for its ability to control gaseous odours by ensuring the removal of specific VOCs and other organic contamination. The carbon acts as a sponge, soaking up odours as the air passes over it. Activated carbon becomes saturated quickly, meaning it needs to be replaced or regenerated regularly.
Misting and dosing systems use specialised blends of essential oils, surfactants and organic compounds to encourage the absorption and decomposition of odours, converting molecules into non-volatile compounds. They are typically installed at the ground works stage of construction projects or as a boundary barrier at sensitive sites, and can eliminate both airborne and surface-based odours.
There are a range of chemicals that can be used for the purpose of offensive odour abatement e.g. hydrogen sulphides, mercaptan and ammonia. Speak to your supplier to determine the most appropriate solution and application of odour control chemicals for your requirements.
The pressure on organisations and facilities to keep the odours released from their industrial premises under control will continue to increase. To find out more about the various available options for controlling or removing industrial odours, you should speak to odour control experts who will help to identify the most appropriate solution. If you have any questions about industrial odour control, contact the Enva odour control team today.