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Modern Odour Control Keeps Industry Smelling Sweet - Part 8 by Neil Tufano

[Sep 07, 2010]

Odours are a side-effect of industrial operations and utilities ranging from landfill sites to hospitals. Fortunately, odour control technology ('odor control' in the USA) is now very sophisticated. A wide range of control equipment (nozzle systems, atomisers and mobile systems) and solutions (fragranced and unfragranced) are available.

Types of equipment

Nozzle systems are either low pressure or air-assisted. Either type can be used for small areas or a whole site. Air-assisted nozzles are particularly effective where self-cleaning is required; their tiny sub-20-Micron droplets control odours faster and more effectively, with the added benefit of lower system maintenance. Both types can be deployed with timed and zoned controllers for accurate site-wide control.

Wall-mounted, floorstanding or mobile odour control systems

For applications such as waste transfer stations, metal recovery facilities and composting plants, wall-mounted or floor standing atomisers typically produce linear sprays of up to 30 metres with a 10" spread (oscillating kits can increase this to 180 degrees). Atomiser systems are suitable for internal or external use with odour-control chemicals.

Self-contained mobile odour treatment systems are highly portable and perfect for sites with odour-control requirements but no on-site power or water. These units can be towed into position behind a small vehicle and come with their own power and water supply.

Odourless and fragranced solutions

Odourless and fragranced solutions are also available. In each case, they combine physically with odour molecules to destroy them. Designed to tackle a wide range of offensive odours such as hydrogen sulphide and ammonia, the most advanced solutions also inhibit the growth of bacteria such as Legionella, E-Coli and Listeria. Being non-carcinogenic, odour-free and safe under CHIP, COSHH and REACH, they are also safe for use in the food industry. Fragranced solutions offer similar performance, but, as their name suggests, with the addition of a suitable masking fragrance.

Odour control applications for sewage treatment systems

An obvious application for odour control systems is in sewage treatment. Here, a combination of Hydrogen Sulphide, Ammonia, Mercaptans and hundreds of other gases and chemicals creates characteristically unpleasant odours.

Both nozzle and atomiser odour control systems are regularly used for sewage treatment works, sludge treatment systems and settlement tanks. So-called 'headspace spraying' uses odour destructive reagents (ODRs) to neutralise the sewage odour associated with large areas such as tanks and lagoons.

About Neil Tufano
With so many possible industrial odours, every application has an optimal solution. For one site the answer may lie in a site-wide installation; for another, odour problems are tackled by purchasing or hiring mobile units. Either way, it's reassuring that specialist suppliers now have all the advanced technology and experience needed to keep the most malodorous processes smelling sweet.
There are as many nights as days, and the one is just as long as the other in the year's course. Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word 'happy' would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. - Carl Jung
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