Odor control in waste and wastewater treatment plants
The biological decomposition of organic waste by microorganisms is one of the most important and effective ways of organic matter removal from the environment and is a part of the natural carbon cycle of the earth. There are many processes which can occur to break down complex organic matter, some of which generate odorous gases as decomposition products.
For example, in the absence of oxygen, sulfur contained in some organic matter can be converted to hydrogen sulfide (H2S) whose smell resembles the odor of rotten eggs. At wastewater treatment and organic waste-to-energy plants, these processes must occur in controlled environments, to ensure such odors are controlled as well.
Odor in wastewater treatment facilities can originate from many locations, such as pump stations, equalization basins, screens, sludge treatment facilities, and many more. However, potential odor issues are not exclusive to the wastewater treatment footprint. All organic waste-generating or receiving sites will experience biological activity and decomposition of organic matter and the generation of potentially-offensive odors.