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Biofiltration compared to chemical scrubbing for odor control (Essay Sample)
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Biofiltration compared to chemical scrubbing for odor control
Definition of concepts and background information
Due to high levels of industrialization, food processing has increased and this means that the environment is being affected by the odors emitted from the plants of processing (Hedley 2002, p.99). Processing plants are near residential areas so that they can get workforce from the neighborhood and this means that the odor coming from the industries must be dealt with to avoid adverse effects to the people, plants and animals. These reactions are hastened by processes such as heating, smoking or drying of foods. Due to the effect of these odors to the environment, methods have been set to test the odors emitted.
Various technologies have been established to control odors from industries. The only best method for managing odorous compounds is by getting rid of the formation of the odor hence eliminating the necessity for processing the air further. This is a challenge to many industries because they can not control all their odors. Many odors released in the process of manufacturing are not a threat to the health of the public but are a nuisance and hence are to be regulated by the local government (Engen 1991, p.211).
What is biofiltration?
Biofiltration is a technology whereby vapor like organic contaminants in a stream of air are passed through a bed of permeable support media where they divide into a water film that is thin in the media and are hence degraded by microorganisms. It is a natural process occurring in the soil which has been adopted for commercial purposes. Bio filters have micro-organisms which break down VOCs and tarnish inorganic gases and mists into non-malodorous substances which are harmless e.g. water and carbon dioxide. Sullivan (2000, p.134) argued that some forms of bacteria may be initiated into the filter and most favorable conditions are provided to ensure that the specific compounds are degraded. Biofiltration uses living material to biologically degrade pollutants in processing plants.
What is chemical scrubbing?
Chemical scrubbing involves technologies of using chemicals that react with volatile compounds. This is the most efficient method of treating odors as it can treat large volumes of air at a time. This method is widely used in the United States in many industries because it is well established, well known and is reliable. Chemical scrubbing has high costs of operation compared to the other methods. It also requires that hazardous chemicals be on site. Odors being emitted by water bodies can be controlled by adding a solution of chlorine dioxide directly to the fluid that is odoriferous (Vidas 2000, p.83).
However, exposure to unpleasant odors leads to physiological stress that may be a trigger factor to many problems e.g. nausea, emotional disturbance, loss of appetite and headache (Frazer 2000, p.24).Odors are sensory...
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