Significance of odor neutralizers and their applications

Smell is something that cannot be ignored and is a great factor in our mood. At the same, time whenever we perceive an intensely foul smell, we feel disgusted. To eliminate malodors, Ecolo has developed many solutions which neutralize instead of mask odors. To determine the optimal odor control solutions, factors such as concentration, sensitivity, weather conditions and odor source are considered. The types of neutralizers applied vary by industry. In this article, we’ll review some of the major odor-producing industries.

What is an odor neutralizer?

Ecolo odor neutralizer solutions work through a process of odor counteractions to permanently neutralize odors and reduce odor complaints. Odor neutralizers are not to be confused with odor-masking agents or air fresheners, which only mask smells.

What is the difference between a neutralizer and an odor masking agent?

Malodors in commercial spaces can be annoying for employees and the public and can ruin the public’s impression of the commercial space.

When eliminating odors, many commercial spaces opt for air fresheners instead of neutralizers which isn’t recommended, as it can severely affect the business in the long run. Here are a few differences between masking agents and neutralizers.

  • Using masking agents/air fresheners to mask a smell can be cheaper at first, but in the long run may end up costing more in product and maintenance. On the other hand, establishing an odor neutralizer can be more expensive at first compared to air fresheners, but over time is both more cost effective as well as effective at solving the odor problem.
  • Depending on the intensity of the odor, you might have to use a strong fragrance to mask the odor. However, using strong fragrances might end up making the situation even worse. Using a neutralizer, you don’t have to worry about producing a worse smell, as it eliminates the malodors.
  • Masking an odor is like trying to make a hole in water. Even if you succeeded in masking the odor, it will come back shortly once the masking effects fade away. With neutralizers, the smell is eliminated from the air, which makes it more sustainable in the long run.

Different Solutions for Industries

Agriculture (cannabis / marijuana)

The strong odor emitted from marijuana / cannabis farms is difficult to control. Characterized as pungent, floral, or even sewer-like, these odors mainly occur because of the essential oils that are      present in the cannabis plant, known as terpenes. The smell is intense at the time when flowers are budding. It has been noted that these smells can reach up to more than a mile from their location.

With the legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada and some states in the US, many municipal odor complaints are cannabis related. To mitigate this problem in Canada, federal regulations require cannabis-growing facilities to have an appropriate odor control system.

Typical measures in controlling cannabis-growing facility odors include:

  • Vapor solutions such as Ecolo’s XStreme® Solution #8420 Clean and Pure, are designed to neutralize targeted malodors, including terpenes such as myrcene, caryophyllene and terpinolene (the aromatic components of the cannabis plant), and sulfur-containing chemicals common to loading docks, garbage transfer stations and exhaust stacks. Made in consultation with commercial cannabis growers, third-party testing has proven #8420 Clean and Pure to be 100% effective at removing cannabis odor from the air!
  • Activated charcoal and charcoal filters are common techniques to eliminate odor. The odorous air goes through the carbon, which absorbs the chemicals.
  • Wet scrubbers filter the odorous air through a watery treatment. It is effective and efficient, however often very costly to maintain.

Livestock farms and Stockyards

The odors emitted from livestock farms, such as cow, pig and chicken farms, are often intense. The main sources of stockyard odors are the livestock themselves, feed, housing, manure, and waste. These things need to be monitored frequently to control the odors.

Some of the basic measures that can be taken to control the odor in a livestock farm include changing livestock diet, increased facility maintenance, improved ventilation systems, and the installation of odor control systems designed for these odors.

Abattoirs/slaughterhouses similarly face many odor issues which can be mitigated in much the same way.

Ecolo has many solutions to combat livestock and stockyard odors including AirSolution, XStreme and BioStreme solutions.

Food processing plants / Rendering plants

The organic and inorganic compounds present in food processing plants usually produce an acutely unpleasant smell. This can be a nuisance for the surroundings, as it emits a foul odor into the air. Ecolo has many solutions to combat food processing plant / rendering plant odors, including AirSolution #26, BioStreme #101 and #111.

Landfills, Transfer Stations, Recycling Centers

The increasing numbers in waste disposed has created odor around landfills and transfer stations, as well as recycling centers. These gases include hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, VOCs etc. It is necessary to eliminate these odors before they spread into the air and cause complaints from surrounding residents. Treatments such as Ecolo’s BioStreme topical formulations or AirSolutions and XStreme for treatment of the air can be used in combination for maximum odor removal.

Composting Operations

Compost is the mixture of organic materials left out to decompose, which is later used to fertilize and improve the soil. The process of composting is a managed, actively controlled procedure. During the composting procedure, the carbon and nitrogen ratio, and the moisture and temperature must be controlled. During the process of decomposition, the emission of odorous gases such as ammonia is produced.

Ecolo’s BioStreme® 101 BioBooster gives Composters the ability to directly manage the core biology of their operations. BioStreme 101 BioBooster is applied by topical spraying to working exteriors, or by blending with feedstock to control nuisance odors such as H2S, mercaptans, volatile fatty acids, and ammonia. Benefits include accelerated decomposition and stabilization rates, as well as less frequent manual turning and aeration of windrows. This product represses odor-producing biological processes while promoting strong facultative bacterial populations to effectively degrade organics and resist system upsets.

Municipal Wastewater Treatment / Sewer Plant

Malodors at a wastewater facility or municipal wastewater treatment originate from the anaerobic decomposition of materials. Hydrogen sulfide has an intense smell, and it’s slightly nauseating.      Because of its low solubility in water, once exposed to water, it is immediately released into the air, producing an offensive odor.

Amines and mercaptans are two other odor-causing factors at a treatment facility. These organic compounds contain sulfur or nitrogen, producing odors detectable by the human nose even at extremely low concentrations.

Commercial spaces

Commercial spaces such as restaurants, hotels, gyms, retirement homes, apartment and condominium buildings, shopping malls, and offices are public places. To keep a good reputation amongst the public, and a pleasant space for workers and residents, these spaces require an excellent odor control system and solutions designed for their specific needs. In commercial settings, using GelTech and AirSensory odor solutions by Ecolo is recommended for small spaces and interiors, whereas XStreme vapor solutions are perfect for outdoor solid waste bins. Some spaces may require a combination of solutions and systems to fully neutralize malodors and create pleasant sensory experiences.

Why activated charcoal is not the complete solution    

Activated charcoal can become quickly saturated and needs to be changed frequently when treating air with high concentrations of odorants. It also relies on a pumping or filtering system to operate, hence major industries such as wastewater facilities, major commercial spaces, abattoirs etc. tend to choose other more cost-effective and efficient odor control solutions. There’s another drawback to it too. Using charcoal in a filter is efficient, but once the filter is saturated, it can release those pollutants back to the environment. The process of changing charcoal filters can be tiresome and inconvenient, not to mention expensive.

Why do Ecolo’s solutions standout compared to others?

Ecolo offers a variety of solutions in four major areas:

  • Wastewater
  • Solid waste
  • Commercial trash rooms
  • Industrial applications

Ecolo uses a comprehensive two-pronged approach to remove industrial odor:

  1. Applying topical/addictive solutions to prevent the formation of odor.
  2. Removing airborne odor through vaporizing and misting.

Ecolo focuses on:

  • Odor elimination/counteraction instead of masking
  • Bio booster formulations that optimize microorganism growth
  • Highly concentrated formulas
  • Waterless solutions for year-round odor control
  • Environmentally-friendly solutions
  • Reliable equipment for solution delivery
  • Specialized proprietary formulations for various industries

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