Clearing The Air: The Importance Of Effective Odor Mitigation In Industrial Facilities

By: Tyler Williams, Director of Scientific Services, PathoSans

Industrial facilities are essential drivers of economic growth and innovation, producing a wide range of goods and services that shape our modern world. However, alongside the benefits they bring, these facilities can also be sources of unwanted odors that impact the quality of life for employees and nearby communities. From waste management to food manufacturing to agriculture, odor control is a major concern for many industries and communities.

Addressing odor issues is not only a matter of improving comfort but also a responsibility towards environmental stewardship and community well-being. Odor emissions pose many challenges and risks, so it’s important to implement effective mitigation strategies to protect your brand and your bottom line.

Understanding The Challenge

Odor emissions from industrial facilities are often a result of the release of a plethora of odor causing components ranging from sulfur compounds, ammonia compounds and odor causing bacteria to volatile organic compounds (VOCs)[1]. These compounds are produced during industrial processes, such as manufacturing, food processing and waste management. While many odors are contained in a plant or production facility, some odors drift to surrounding areas. These areas can include parks, local subdivisions or downtown areas. Understandably, community members may not be tolerant of these odors which can lead to complaints to the business and local politicians. This can create a public relations headache for businesses which can damage a plant’s reputation — and its brand. Odors can also impact workers’ job satisfaction. In today’s challenging labor market, it is more important than ever to recruit and retain qualified workers.

What Are ECAS And How Can They Mitigate Odors?

Electrochemically activated solutions (ECAS) are cleaning and disinfecting solutions that are 99.9% effective in killing a wide range of bacteria and viruses in seconds using only clean ingredients — salt, water and electricity. ECAS address the release of VOCs and sulfur compounds through their inherent properties. The hypochlorous acid (HOCI) produced through ECA technology is a powerful oxidizing agent[2]. When it comes into contact with odor-causing compounds, it breaks down and neutralizes VOCs into odorless substances. ECAS alter the molecular chemistry of the source of the odor, eliminating the unpleasant smell.

ECAS are also effective in controlling the growth of odor-causing microorganisms. The antimicrobial properties of ECAS target bacteria and fungi that contribute to the emission of foul odors. By neutralizing these microorganisms, the generation of odor is significantly reduced.

Benefits Of ECAS In Odor Mitigation

ECAS offer an efficient and long-lasting solution to odor problems by targeting both the compounds responsible for odors and the microorganisms that produce them. Top benefits of ECAS in odor mitigation include:

  1. Removes odors efficiently: One of the most significant benefits of ECAS is its exceptional efficiency in removing a wide range of odorous compounds. Unlike traditional methods that simply mask odors, ECAS break down the cause of the odor at a molecular level, effectively eliminating them from the environment.
  2. Offers broad spectrum effectiveness: ECAS are highly versatile and effective against various types of odors, including those originating from meat and livestock processing plants, wastewater treatment facilities, sewer treatment plants, waste transfer stations and other industrial facilities. ECAS is effective against numerous odor sources, including Hydrogen Sulfide, Ammonia, Methane Thiol, Dimethyl Sulfide, Propylamines, Styrene, and Carbon Disulfide. ECAS’s ability to target diverse odor sources makes it an ideal choice for mitigating odor issues in various settings.
  3. Environmentally friendly: Traditional odor mitigation methods often involve the use of chemicals or masking agents that can have negative impacts on the environment. ECAS are non-toxic and biodegradable, making them a safe and sustainable alternative to hazardous chemical odor control methods that may pose risks to the environment and people.
  4. Contains no residue or harmful byproducts: Unlike chemical-based methods that might leave residues or secondary pollutants behind, ECAS produce clean and safe byproducts that do not contribute to any environmental pollution and leave no harmful residues behind.
  5. Relatively low operating costs: While some advanced odor control technologies can be expensive to implement and maintain, ECAS have relatively low operating costs. Once a system is set up, it requires only salt, water, and electricity to produce powerful solutions that eliminate odors effectively. The solutions can also be used to clean and disinfect industrial facilities safely and sustainably.
  6. Scalability: Because cleaning and disinfecting solutions are produced on-site and on-demand, ECAS are highly scalable. This makes them ideal for any size industrial application.

Many industrial facilities generate foul odors by the nature of their production processes. By addressing the issue at its source, organizations can significantly reduce their odor emissions. Embracing effective odor mitigation strategies not only improves working conditions for employees but also contributes to the overall well-being of communities and the environment. With its environmentally friendly nature, versatility, and efficacy, ECAS align with both industrial and environmental objectives. It is an ideal solution for a cleaner and more pleasant industrial operation.

About the Author: Tyler Williams is director of scientific services for PathoSans, a manufacturer of environmentally responsible cleaning and disinfecting solutions. Williams oversees all product development, quality assurance and regulatory management that surrounds on-site electrochemical generators (OSGs) and product chemistry at PathoSans. He has a decade of experience and multiple patents in electrochemical systems and a BS in chemistry from Purdue University. He is also a founding member of the Hypochlorous Acid (HOCl) Consortium which is charged with working with the EPA to advance the awareness and acceptance of HOCl. For more information, visit www.pathosans.com, or email Tyler at tyler.williams@spray.com.

https://blogs.loc.gov/preservation/2021/07/volatile-organic-compounds-vocs/#:~:text=Odors%20are%20caused%20by%20the,a%20health%20and%20safety%20concern

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/chemistry/hypochlorous-acid#:~:text=Hypochlorous%20acid%20(HOCl).,against%20a%20variety%20of%20pathogens.

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