Odor Control System Engineering

BCE designs and implements a variety of odor control systems including activated carbon adsorbers, wet chemical scrubbers, dry chemical scrubbers, and bio-filters.   BCE know’s how important it is to install the appropriate system in order to provide clients with the most optimum performance and reliability, for the best value.  Continue reading for further information on BCE odor control systems.

An odor control system is a generic term used to describe a type of equipment designed to scrub malodorous gases in the vapor phase or add chemical additives to the liquid phase to prevent noxious gases from forming.  In wastewater treatment, odor control is a primary consideration.  Microbes in sewage can produce hydrogen sulfide, notorious for its “rotten egg” smell, which can be detected by the human nose in concentrations as low as 0.1 parts per billion.

In vapor phase odor control, the principal objective is the removal of hydrogen sulfide.  Some examples are:

  • Activated carbon adsorbers
    In these, the air is passed through a bed of porous, granulated, activated carbon.  Odorous compounds in the air are neutralized when they adhere to the carbon granules.  Spent carbon can be reactivated.  These adsorbers are effective for removing sulfur-based compounds, including hydrogen sulfide, as well as VOC’s.
  • Wet chemical scrubbers
    These are multi-stage packed towers which work in a similar way to packed tower wet scrubber type dust collectors.  The packing provides for intimate contact between the scrubbing solution and malodorous air.  These type scrubbers are effective removing hydrogen sulfide, ammonia and various organic odors.
  • Dry chemical scrubbers
    In these scrubbers, a medium containing particular chemical compounds (typically KMnO4 or iron oxide) is used.  Sulfurous compounds in the air react with these chemicals and are converted to agreeable substances.  The disadvantage with a dry scrubber is that the chemicals are consumed and therefore need to be replaced, usually limiting economical operation to air with low concentrations of sulfur-based compounds.
  • Bio-filters
    Bio-filters use microorganisms which feed on organic materials and oxidize sulfur.  When operated at the correct temperature and humidity for a particular loading, they are effective at removing sulfur-based compounds and mercaptans.