Odor Control in Pesticide Plants: Volatile Elimination
Chemical formulation plants are susceptible to emissions of unpleasant volatile compounds and unpleasant odors, which makes it essential to implement effective odor control treatments.
Specifically, in the northwest of Spain, there is one of the oldest industrial locations for the manufacture of phytosanitary products in the country, with facilities located relatively close to inhabited areas.
Recently, one of the plants, specifically the plant dedicated to the formulation of solid pesticides, underwent a complete modernization and automation of the manufacturing process, applying criteria of maximum safety and minimum human contact.
For regulatory and safety reasons, the formulation includes certain volatile compounds with a very unpleasant odor and a very low odor detection limit.
In addition, the product, once packaged, must contain a very small amount of fines. That is why the last stage of the process consists of a dust removal fluid bed, which is placed just before the packaging machine.
This fluidized bed for the elimination of fines moves a relatively high air flow (6000 Nm3/h), emitting a quantity of unpleasant smelling additives to the outside. As this bed is open to the outside, it causes problems of occupational hygiene in the work environment, and in some cases complaints about unpleasant odors in the neighborhood near the plant.
Bioconservacion was contacted by the manufacturer of the fluidized bed equipment to find a solution for treating unpleasant odors.
Tests were conducted in BION's laboratory, reproducing the operating conditions of the fluidized bed for eliminating fines on a small scale. For this purpose, the end customer, within the agreed confidentiality terms, provided the necessary data and reagents to reproduce the problem.
Various BION filter media were tested under these conditions. With the data from the laboratory pilot test, Bioconservacion's engineering department was able to size an integral solution for optimal odor control.
The recommended filtration equipment, due to the relatively high flow rate to be treated and the need not to affect the existing process, was a SAH unit (Side Access Modular Filter Unit) with 18 modules. The PP18, V-shaped modules allow for an optimal solution in terms of equipment size, minimum pressure drop and removal efficiency.
Moreover, the entire unit is at ground level, with side doors, which allow a quick change and a very safe handling of the used modules.
After analyzing the data resulting from the filter media tested in the pilot plant, the recommended filter media to use was BION AC, activated carbon specially designed for the removal of high molecular weight compounds.
Once the proposed solution has been implemented, Bioconservacion ensures the correct operation of the filtration equipment and the optimization of the filter media. Periodically, the client obtains representative samples of the different filters and sends them to the BION laboratory to analyze the degree of saturation of the filter media. In this way, BION recommends to the customer to change the filter at the right time, with a prudent time before the saturation of the filter media to avoid odor problems.