Options in Odor Control - New Alternatives and Traditional Technologies

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The control of odorous emissions from sewage treatment facilities has long been a major issue, especially for facilities located close to residential areas. As populations grow and expand near the wastewater treatment plants and the collection system facilities that transfer sewage to those plants, efforts to control wastewater odor command an even higher priority.

Odor control can be divided into odor minimization and odor treatment. Odor minimization includes source control, facility design to minimize odor production, and chemical addition to wastewater. Odor treatment focuses on the collection of odorous air and its treatment with one of a variety of technologies. Historically, odor treatment revolved around adsorption (i.e. activated carbon), absorption (i.e. chemical wet scrubbing), and biotechnology (i.e. bio filters) as well as a number of other minor technologies. All of these treatment technologies have been proven to be effective to some degree at removing odorous compounds when applied correctly, but each has specific limitations inherent to the process.

New innovations in activated carbon media and adsorption system design, specifically the development of catalytic activated carbon and odor control systems designed to use this material, have recently been commercially introduced. These new products feature novel capabilities that expand the ability of adsorption systems to treat odors. These products provide municipalities with additional options in their odor treatment evaluations. Ultimately, municipalities should consider a range of application-specific factors including flow rate, contaminant concentration, space requirements, downtime and maintenance, operational hazards and disposal of spent materials when selecting an odor treatment technology.

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