One of the unavoidable byproducts of the asphalt production process is a mixture of volatile hydrocarbons, mercaptans, hydrogen sulfide, and heat, which may cause a unique mixture of foul odors.
When this happens, many asphalt producers have to contend with neighboring residents – often homes and businesses – that bring their odor complaints to both the media and local town-hall meetings.
Fortunately, the solution is as simple as a process additive from OMI Industries, which can be mixed directly into liquid asphalt used in hot mix plants to control the odorous emissions. In most cases, it only takes a small amount of the correct additive to a plant’s liquid storage and handling process to reduce the odors. Before the odors become airborne, they are eliminated.
This was the key theme of a recent Asphalt Contractor guest article by Dr. Laura Haupert, Director of Research and Development for OMI Industries; and Ron Mulford, Equipment Division Manager for OMI Industries.
The article also highlighted how Laurel Asphalt was able to stop any asphalt production odors, and dramatically reduces complaints from neighbors.
The facility initially tried to counter the odors by installing a vaporization refrigeration system, which was placed on the top of the tanks. Unfortunately, this new system could not contain the foul smells.
With odor complaints increasing everyday, the team at Laurel Asphalt conducted additional research and discovered the Ecosorb custom blend solutions — and tried a sample. Based on the success of the sample, in 2015, Laurel Asphalt decided to move forward with working directly with OMI Industries to develop its own custom additive called Ecosorb AP-100A.
After four months of use, the plant held an open house for residents to extend a hand to the community and acknowledge that the odor situation had been mitigated. The lively event was complete with food, music and more importantly … no odors.
“Within less than a month, the odors were completely gone and we have not received any more complaints from residents,” says Chris Waters, plant and operations manager at Laurel Asphalt, in the article. “The solution was a lifesaver for us.”
This case study is a prime example of how OMI Industries offers customized solutions that easily tackle these unique odor challenges. Developed by OMI’s PhD chemists, our Ecosorb solutions use natural ingredients to eliminate industrial odors without use of harsh chemicals or masking fragrances.