Odours are a top source for air pollution complaints in many parts of Australia. Undesirable scents and smells spark from a wide variety of sources, including from the work of certain industries like pulp and paper manufacturers and sewage treatment facilities. With so many sources of odour, it is often difficult to measure it. This is also due to the number of odours that aren’t even detected by the human nose. Drones are beginning to help with environmental monitoring and have proven popular in various industries due to their ‘birds eye’ view.
In some cases, an odour is more than just an unpleasant smell. It can be a sign of dangerous compounds or gas leaks. Odours can result from certain compounds, like hydrogen sulphide, ammonia, and mercaptans. These compounds are common from industries like fertiliser production, landfills, composting facilities, and pulp and paper mills.
In some industries, odours must be monitored to comply with local regulations. Odours also need to be monitored in the event of dangerous levels or leaks and that is where a professional air quality monitor can help. Let’s take a look at some of these industries.
As the world’s population grows, so does the need for rising food production levels. In many places in Australia, this includes the growth of industrial livestock operations to produce pork, chicken, duck, and more. With so many livestock living in a concentrated area, excrement tends to pile up. This waste then creates odour pollution for the communities around it.
Excrement can also produce certain compounds, like nitrogen (ammonia, skatole, etc), sulfuric acids, carbon compounds, and more. Both the odour levels and gaseous emissions lead to a need for odour monitoring.
Societal pressure from surrounding communities has led to an emphasis on monitoring odour levels to ensure appropriate levels of excremental smell.
Pulp and Paper Manufacturing
Even as the world grows more technologically based, the pulp and paper industry continues to thrive – and produce unpleasant odours. Pulp reduction generates sulphur compounds that create the signature scent of pulp and paper mills. These pollutants also have a low threshold in terms of olfactory perception.
In many instances, the community is affected with the odour even when the entity is in full legal compliance. In this case, this industry has to consider not just what is legal in terms of emissions, but also what is socially acceptable for the surrounding community.
Chemical and Petrochemical
When producing certain chemical compounds or petroleum, offensive odours can occur. To avoid complaints, many industry entities choose to act proactively. This is to battle community perceptions of the industry as people voice health concerns.
In some cases, odour from this industry indicates no more than public unrest. However, the public perception is that any odour from this industry must be dangerous. By monitoring the odour of chemical and petrochemical plants, the industry can seek to build a better rapport with the surrounding community.
Solid Waste Management
As one can imagine, an odour from solid waste is not desirable for any party involved. However, by definition, solid waste management will always produce odour. The important factor here is to consider emission levels and how to reduce those. As society advances, new environmental technology seeks to reduce solid waste management odours.
Wastewater Treatment Plants
Similar to solid waste management, this is an industry that will inevitably produce odours. The concern really centres on standards and regulations around those odour levels. Many of these plants are close to communities and must act with care for the residents of that community. Constantly monitoring odour levels is part of this. This is also because of emission levels, just like solid waste management.
Overall, many industries face both societal and legal pressure to comply with odour levels. In the case of unidentifiable odours, you may also have a concern to address. If you need to look more into just how to monitor odours in your industry, reach out to Australian Dynamic Technologies!