Wastewater odor control with liquid solutions and vapor systems

AirSolution for wastewater.

Diagram of efficacy of AirSolution #9312 – ideal for treatment of hydrogen sulfide, including wastewater treatment plants, pumping stations, wet wells, and other industrial processes that generate hydrogen sulfide.

BioStreme for WastewaterBioStreme 201 for wastewater.

Generally, wastewater odor comes from a combination of biological and chemical processes, even when facilities are frequently cleaned and well maintained.  

Wastewater odor

Wastewater odor is released from any units or process in which wastewater is collected, treated or conveyed, and can produce and release bad odors into the nearby areas. This includes odor emissions from collection systems (sewer), sludge handling facilities, and primary treatment facilities. Odors from different treatment units of wastewater are different from each other. Hydrogen sulfide and organic sulfur compounds are high in sewer emissions. Odors from sludge handling are high in organic compounds and relatively low in hydrogen sulfide. Facility operations and environmental conditions also affect odor concentration and intensity.

Hydrogen sulfide (H2S), as a by-product in the absence of oxygen and nitrate, is the most important odorous compound in wastewater odor. Hydrogen sulfide has low solubility in wastewater, and its gaseous form generates a strong, rotten-egg-like smell, which is detected by the human nose at very low concentrations. Apart from hydrogen sulfide, other compounds such as amines and mercaptans are also present. 

Common odorous compounds found at wastewater facilities:

Illustrated example of Ecolo Odor Control at wastewater site.

What are the leading causes of wastewater odor?

Different causes of wastewater odor include:

Weather Conditions

Poor weather conditions can exacerbate the production of bad odors. For instance, odors often seem worse during summer months when temperatures are high and respiration activities are enhanced. In low wind conditions, odors may gather in various pockets, whereas on a windy day, odors may be carried out further into neighborhoods. Other factors, such as humidity can also affect the production and perception of bad odors.  

Anoxic / Septic Conditions

In anoxic conditions, where oxygen flow to the wastewater is limited, microorganisms use compounds such as sulfate ions (SO4-) and nitrate ions (NO3-) as electron donors during anaerobic respiration. As a by-product of this process, noxious odors such as hydrogen sulfide (H2S) are produced, among other odorous gases.    

Other causes include biosolids and biosolid treatment processes e.g. dewatering, anaerobic and aerobic digestion, storage sites, transportation in septic trucks, decomposition of organic material etc.

How to control wastewater odor

There are two main strategies to control wastewater odors: (1) Prevention of odor production and (2) removal of odorous compounds. Two popular technologies are listed below: 

  • Vapor-phase technologies: such technologies are used in wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) to treat wastewater odors in the air.
  • Liquid-phase technologies: technologies that are used to control wastewater streams. It is often used in collection systems to control both odor and corrosion. 

Some of the other ways to treat wastewater odors include:

Ensuring sufficient supply of oxygen

Increasing the amount of oxygen makes sure that aerobic bacteria have enough oxygen to consume BOD aerobically.

Wastewater circulation

To avoid producing offensive odor in wastewater plants, ensuring that dissolved oxygen reaches the very core of the aeration basin will help to reduce odor-causing anaerobic digestion.  

Air Scrubbing (Vapor Phase)

Use of alkaline or acid scrubbers to treat air where there are high concentrations of noxious odors compounds such as ammonia, amines, esters hydrogen sulfide, organic acids etc. Use Ecolo’s AirSolution R305 in acidic scrubbers and Predator in alkaline scrubbers.

Biofiltration (Vapor Phase)

Bacteriological degradation of odorous compounds in an aqueous phase. Biofilters are effective at removing sulfur-based compounds such as hydrogen sulfide, organic sulfides and mercaptans. However, this process needs to be tightly controlled and may be expensive.

BioStreme (Liquid Phase)


Liquid and vapor phase systems for wastewater odor control

Liquid and vapor phase technologies control wastewater odor and corrosive compounds from wastewater plants by controlling the buildup of odorous compounds or reacting with those compounds once they are formed. 

Liquid and vapor phase technologies are used both for downstream control at a treatment plant, and for collection systems. Ecolo’s BioStreme 201 BioBooster provides a cost effective means to manage odors and reduce BOD and COD levels, suspended solids, and sludge in leachate lagoons and holding tanks. This concentrated micronutrient formulation supports effective populations of naturally occurring facultative bacteria, which aid in rapid decomposition of biological waste without production of odorous by-products. BioStreme 201 employs a safe and biodegradable blend of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, purines, pyrimidines, and complex organic extracts, without the use of alcohols or bacteria. 

How do vapor solutions remove odors?

Vaporization has two main factors to consider:

  • The droplets should be small to increase the degree of penetration and improve the effectiveness at removing odor.
  • Small droplets provide more surface area to treat odor. 

What are the benefits of Ecolo vaporization solutions?

  • Ecolo solutions completely neutralizes bad odors and does not disguise them. Many factories use different fragrances or air fresheners to mask the bad odor with another smell. Though it’s commonly available, air fresheners or fragrances do not eliminate the bad odor, they only hide bad odors with good ones. And the combination of bad odor and the substitute odor can even enhance the intensity of bad odors. This problem is solved by using solutions that neutralize, which leads to no smell. 
  • Small/fine droplets of Ecolo solutions provide more surface area for efficient neutralization and reaction.
  • Has the ability to remove many kinds of bad odors. XStreme Solution #8012 is a waterless formulation ideal for neutralizing odors from hydrogen sulfide, mercaptans and other organic sulfur-based compounds. It is applicable at environmental sites such as wastewater treatment plants and fermentation lagoons. XStreme #8012 is also effective in eliminating odors created by decomposition in open areas.

Why choose Ecolo for odor control?

Ecolo offers comprehensive solutions to remove offensive odors. Its’ odor neutralizer range and bio booster concentrate help treat wastewater odor effectively by treating the wastewater itself and the air surrounding wastewater.

AirSolution formulations are water-soluble liquids, with advanced odor-elimination technology, designed specifically to neutralize various organic odors arising from a multitude of sources. AirSolution and XStreme can be used with a misting system around a facility perimeter, lift stations, headworks (e.g. bar screens and grit removal), storage tanks, dewatering facilities etc. to neutralize odors before they disperse to the wider surrounding area.

BioStreme topical and additive formulations have been specifically developed to enhance growth and reproduction of beneficial bacteria through optimized essential nutrients, and combat odors directly at the source. With the use of BioStreme, effective management of biological treatment processes can be achieved or enhanced to provide increased treatment efficiency and operational cost savings. 

XStreme vapor solutions provide waterless odor control and therefore can be used to neutralize odors all year long. XStreme vapor solutions include #8420 for commercial cannabis greenhouses, #8023/#8015 for commercial sites, and #8012 for wastewater.  

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