Odours and fine dust problems in industry and waste treatment plants
Odours and fine dust became a big problem in our modern industrial society concerning health and annoyances of population and working people. Current legislation processes on EU level concerning European Fine Dust Guideline 1999/30/EC and the EU Directive for Industrial Emissions 2010/75/EC in preparation take this in account and require consequent measures for a reduction in the plants. Quite frequently odour and fine dust problems occur at the same time.
Odour problems are specific for each plant and location
The sources of odour problems are differing and primarily arising due to technical problems and plant management. These problems specific for the situation in plant locations require an individual adjustment of measures for reduction and avoidance. As example for other areas find hereafter a listing of reasons for odour emissions in biological treatment plants. The standard publication (Bidlingmaier et al. “Odour Emissions in Composting Plants”) Manuskripte zur Abfallwirtschaft, RHOMBOS-Verlag, Berlin, 1997, ISBN 3-930894-11 describes the odour situation in compost plants as follows:
"In the past inevitable odour emissions arising from the operation of compost units caused considerable annoyances in the neighbourhood of some composting plants. As a plant site can only exist in the long run if the neighbours are not extremely annoyed, the avoidance of damages caused by odours is of considerable importance. To operate a composting plant without odours is nearly impossible on account of mechanical and biological processes of the composting of waste material. An acceptable situation for the environment can be created by a perfect planning, equipment and operational management.
The analysis of the examined damages shows that the following problems are regularly arising:
- Underestimation of the odorant concentration of the selected composting technology already in the planning stage and correspondingly insufficient measures regarding a protection from emissions.
- Technical problems at the operation of composting plants resulting in not planned operational conditions with higher emissions.
- Wrong dimensioning of the decomposition unit resulting in too low decomposition degrees in the mature product (e.g. decomposition degree II instead of IV), with heavy odour emissions at the compost refining and in the storage area.
- Careless operational management which does not correspond to the demands of the emission protection (keywords: open gates, other diffuse sources).
- Underestimation of the effectiveness of "small" odour sources like e.g. open containers for residual waste or open transport of fresh compost.
- Technically insufficient or wrong dimensioned purification units for exhaust air and bad air management (keywords: filter material, crude gas conditioning).
- Insufficient control and maintenance of the purification units for exhaust air (keyword: filter maintenance).
- Hesitating problem solutions, based on costs or image loss.
- Approach of residential buildings or industry to the borders of the composting plant after initial operation.
Several of the listed problems are usually arising together."
The odour problem can be decrease significantly by technical and organisational measures - such as the system of Udo Oeler Umweltconsulting. Plant-specific, spray or biofilter techniques and the use of odor reducing agents such as Pro Odeur plus allow for compact and cost-effective customized solutions.
Odours arise usually where fine dust is generated. Fine dust can be successfully reduced with the same technology used for the reduction of odours, however with modified biology of the odour reducing means.
Fine dust pollution can cause diseases
The pollution with fine dust is by far the most serious problem for an air-pollution control in the EU. The source of this fine dust is mainly generated by diesel soot, heating installations and industrial plants. More than six years after the implementation of the EU guidelines for air pollution control is it finally realised as of June 2011 and Brussels will punish overstepping of limit values with penalties in so far as member states – i.e. the municipalities in question – cannot show any efforts they made.
Fine dust particles (PM 10 – particles with a diameter of less than 0.01 mm) are so small that they don’t get stuck in the nose and throat, but can get directly into the lung. Arrived there they can cause inflammations, asthma and even cancer.
The problem of fine dust control will become in future a high importance among the people responsible on all political levels. This is also valid for health burdens on the locations, e.g. industry and waste treatment plants and their employees.
The problems with fine dust can be decisively reduced with technical and organizational structures as with the system of Udo Oeler’s Environmental Consulting. Spraying techniques specifically developed for plants and the spraying of dust binding agents like Pro Deur plus allow compact and cost-saving customised solutions. This method is effective within a short time.