How Does Odour Control Work?

A lot of people don’t realise that waste handlers and other industrial environments deal with a wide array of unpleasant odours on a daily basis. Not only can these fugitive emissions make it difficult for people to work, but they can also travel in the air with the right meteorological conditions causing a nuisance to neighbours.

All told, odours can be released from a plethora of different sources, for example, food production, sewage treatment, oil refineries, just to name a few.

This, in essence, is why the correct odour treatment is so essential to life in general.

Not only does it make it possible for people to safely and comfortably perform their important jobs on a day to day basis, but it’s also fundamental in protecting our environment at the same time.

But what exactly is odour control and how does it work? The answers to those questions require you to keep a few key things in mind.

The Finer Points of Odour Control: Breaking Things Down

Generally speaking, there are three main types of odour control solutions to familiarise yourself with: wet scrubbing, dry scrubbing and biological treatment.

Wet Scrubbing For Odour Control

Wet scrubbing involves solutions that are designed and engineered to make immediate contact between a liquid absorbent and a contaminated air gas stream. At OSIL, we use ChemKlean Scrubbing Systems for this purpose – although there is a wide array of different options available on the market today.

Single-stage scrubbing is commonly employed for simple applications where a basic scrubber is really all that is needed to make sure that the job gets done properly. For more advanced applications with higher concentrations of diverse odours – think situations where ammonia, hydrogen sulphide or even mercaptans are present. We rely on ChemKlean®‘s multi-stage scrubbing solutions, but again – that’s just one example of the many dependable odour control systems available.

Multi-stage scrubbers act as perfect odour solutions for industrial odour control needs in particular. They’re also regularly used for not only sewage treatment odour control, but for sludge dryer off-gas treatment as well.

Dry Scrubbing For Odour Control

On the other end of the spectrum, we have dry scrubbing – an option that can be used either as a standalone filter or to complement some other type of odour solution depending on the needs of the situation. At OSIL, we’ve been using CuCarb® Dry Media System odour removal solutions for many years and have seen incredible results in even the harshest environments.

The benefit of this approach is that these dry media solutions require no operator intervention to speak of. They’re designed to treat not only elements like H2S and mercaptans but also organic sulphides, ammonia, VOCs and even ouE/m3.

Biofiltration For Odour Control

Each industrial odour problem is as unique as the processes and materials that combine to cause it. While various methods are employed to control industrial odours, biological treatment solutions hold a great deal of promise.

Biofiltration differs from other industrial odour control methods in that microorganisms feed on odorous compounds in the air rather than eliminating the compounds using harmful chemicals or adsorption by carbon filters.

These microorganisms include many different bacteria and fungi that break down offending compounds to get their energy. Clean air, ready to safely discharge, is released from the vessel and water run through the system drains off the byproducts.

The Major Benefits of the Right Odour Control Solution

When odour control solutions are employed at something like a wastewater treatment plant, for example, they help to dramatically improve the conditions that most workers are subjected to.

They also help those pollutants from spreading into the surrounding areas, thus avoiding a lot of complaints from nearby communities that could potentially irreparably damage a company’s reputation.

Odour treatment provides an exceptional amount of value in a short amount of time – thus outlining why it’s absolutely an investment worth making for companies in so many industries across the country.

All businesses have a corporate and social responsibility to not only be as efficient and as compliant as possible, but to just be good neighbours to those around them as well.


It’s clear that in the modern era, the right type of odour control technology, therefore, becomes their best opportunity to accomplish precisely that.

If you’d like to find out more information about the major difference that the right odour control services can make for your environment, or if you’d just like to discuss the needs of your own situation with someone in a bit more detail, please don’t delay – contact your partners at OSIL today.