Odor Control Through Bio Stimulation

Some years ago, researchers at the University of Hawaii completed a project working with various plant extracts. They were working with enzymes that were present in aloe, kelp seaweed, pineapple, broccoli, and the noni fruit, all of which were readily available in their area.

The researchers were seeking medical applications that could utilize a newly discovered alkaloid, Xeronine, to accelerate cell growth and biological activity. This alkaloid has very similar properties to nicotine and caffeine.

Soon after the research and work was completed in this area, which did result in some medical patent applications, the municipality that received the process and wastewater from the laboratory approached the University. They noticed specific improvements within that segment of the collection system and secondary treatment plant with the elimination of grease and the reduction of malodors.

After it was established that the formulations the scientists were experimenting with actually were the source for these improvements, another patent was filed for. In this case, the patent was specifically for the elimination of odors, fats, oils, and greases in wastewater collection systems. This liquid plant extract, using a combination of aloe and seaweed, would be marketed under the trade name, BYOGON, PX-109.

Unlike many products available on the market today in the area of odor control in wastewater, BYOGON eliminates odors by improving the biology and conditions present in the system to naturally reduce the sources of the odors.

The odors are caused by the breakdown of organic material in the system. As this process contributes to a lower pH, septic conditions become more prevalent, and the release of malodors, attributed to hydrogen sulfide gas from the wastewater stream, become evident with a rotten egg type odor. This gas, even in low concentrations, is extremely hazardous and can lead to serious illness and even death. Confined space safety awareness and safety training are a must for wastewater professionals, as other noxious gases such as carbon monoxide and methane may also be present in these systems.

Problematic odors, usually involving the presence and formation of hydrogen sulfide gas, are treated with oxidizers such as hydrogen peroxide, chemical binding agents, such as calcium nitrate, ferric additives, magnesium based products, and oxygenation of the wastewater stream, all have safety and handling concerns, and for the most part, are expensive to use. Due to their high dosage rates, they can also require substantial product storage or application hardware resulting in a large “footprint” for the application
of the used technology.

Masking agents, such as aromatics or deodorizers, are also employed, as is the use of ozone production units at the actual source point for the odors. Approaching the problem by using a biological agent that stimulates the existing bacteria seems to be an approach that is both safe and cost effective.

When BYOGON is applied to a wastewater stream, it is usually injected above areas which have problematic odors. This is also common with some of the other technologies that have been previously mentioned.

With a biological stimulant, what is seen downstream is an improvement in the pH, as septic conditions are reduced, and the lowering of liquid sulfide values present in the system. The environment in the collection system biology begins to shift and favors the predominance of facultative bacteria. As the conditions improve, further downstream changes also occur. The wastewater flow begins pretreatment at the point of injection of this liquid, usually in concentrations of .3 to 2.5 PPM, or .3 of a gallon to 2.5 gallons per million gallons of flow as a daily portioning rate.

The actual cause of these odor reductions is twofold. Firstly, the pH improves, which is a result of an elimination of the septic conditions and any grease present. This lessens the chance of the odors coming out of the wastewater and turning into a gas. Secondly, the sulfide levels present in the wastewater are lowered. This is the result of some of the stimulated bacteria using the sulfide values as an energy source. These sulfide values are measured as total sulfide, dissolved sulfide, and hydrogen sulfide that is present in the solution.

The technical explanation of what is happening with the actual biology is that it is being taken from an anaerobic fermentative state to one of aerobic respiration. In simple terms, the bacteria present, also known as “bugs,” are undergoing a change from being couch potatoes to active body builders. Extensive information on this can be researched under the Krebs Cycle.

The optimum goal of a wastewater collection system is to get the sewerage to the wastewater treatment plant as quickly as possible. When this does not occur, conditions that favor the formation of odors become prevalent. The use of a biological stimulant can naturally improve these conditions. With the acceleration of the biological “engine” other improvements in the water quality can be documented with lower solids volumes and related disposal expenses. Ammonia and nutrients are utilized more efficiently, with measureable reductions in nitrogen and phosphorous. Modifications in utility usage, polymers, and chemical costs are also evident with this process. More effective volatile reductions occur, and improvements to effluent quality are achieved.

Story by Jack Serafin

For more information, feel free to contact Jack Serafin directly by calling 866.4.BYOGON (866.429.6466), emailing JS@byogon.com or visiting www.lakepointegroup.com.

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