Not just olfactive nuisances, industrial odors that is prevalent in all types of factories is also an important health problem for workers working inside and neighboring residents. There are frequent complaints from residents about nearby industrial facilities as they believe that their property and life quality are perceived to be threatened by severe industrial odors. With the approaching of residential districts and industrial zones, the emission of industrial odors is regulated to varying degrees around the world and dealt with by different policies at national or city levels.
Many industrial enterprises release harmful industrial odors in their manufacture process. These odors mainly come from:
- Petrochemical plants
- Food plants
- Pharmaceutical factories
- Paint manufacturers
- Fish factories
- Biodiesel plants
- Sewage treatment plants
- Livestock barns
Long-term exposure to industrial odors can have serious health effects. The upper respiratory tract is the first stop for air pollutants to enter the body. When concentration of industrial odors rise, the odor receptors signal the brain through smell and the trigeminal nerve, causing a different response known as subjective symptoms. Industrial odors may cause reactions such as irritation, pain, sneezing, salivation and dilation of blood vessels, and cause symptoms such as nasal congestion, bronchial constriction, mucus secretion and inflammation. Therefore, the control of industrial odors is very important for any manufacture facilities close to urban areas.
Treatment Methods for Industrial Odors
The following is an introduction to common methods used to deal with industrial odors.
1. Chemical Additives
The purpose of using chemical additives is to bind these chemicals to the compounds that produce industrial odors in order to prevent their diffusion into the atmosphere. Common chemicals used for odor removal include potassium permanganate, sodium chlorate, chlorine dioxide, etc. These chemical additives will be mixed into water when used and eliminate odor compounds while they are in the water phase. One disadvantage of this method is that they require costly chemicals to be replenished. And it is easy to cause a health hazard when they are used.
2. Physical Adsorbents
The physical adsorbents used for industrial odors removal are mainly porous activated carbon or other mediums used for odor adsorption. Activated carbon can clean the air by trapping harmful compounds in itself. However, as the accumulation of compounds, the effectiveness of such methods gradually declines. After a certain period of time, adsorption mediums such as activated carbon must be cleaned or replaced before they can be reused, resulting in longer downtime and additional costs.
3. UV Treatment
Some of the compounds responsible for industrial odors can also be eliminated by using UV light. By applying UV radiation to the organic compounds, ozone and other free radicals can be created, which will actively oxidize the organic compounds that cause odors. The downside, however, is that UV treatment only reduces odors by about 70%. So, it is only suitable for a low level of industrial odors.
4. Air Ventilation
Many types of industrial odors come from the waste water produced in a manufacture process. Odor compounds will be formed in the water and then released into the air. By using air ventilation from aerators, more oxygen in the air can be mixed into the water and aerobic degradation can be achieved to reduce the formation of organic compounds.
Ozone is known to be highly effective in the removal of home odors caused by water, smoke, pets and other sources. However, little is known about ozone’s effectiveness against odors in industrial circumstances. Ozone, as an unstable form of oxygen, can be used as an aggressive oxidizer. The use of ozone generated by ozone generators to control industrial odors has been proved to be very efficient.
Here’s why ozone is optimal for removing industrial odors:
- Ozone is a highly effective air purification solution for industrial environments
- Ozone has a very high oxidation potential for breaking down other molecular structures
- Ozone is particularly good at breaking down organic compounds that cause industrial odors
- Ozone is good for removing H2S and other VOCs
- Ozone is known to be effective in some applications where scrubbers and bio-filters are ineffective
- By using ozone, some scrubbers can avoid the use of chemicals. It is beneficial in eliminating the risk of a Legionella outbreak and in achieving water reuse
The benefits of ozone for removing industrial odors are also reflected in the following:
- Super-fast reaction speed
- Green and chemical-free
- No production of any harmful byproducts
- Automatic operation of equipment can be realized by programing
- Quickly improve air quality in working environment
You can also learn more about Ozone by reading our article An Introduction of Ozone. With a rich experience in the products and industry, we can provide you with customized ozone solutions for the removal of industrial odors in a wide range of industrial environments.