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Banishing foul odours from the paper industry

An EU-funded consortium developed a unique, fast and sensitive odour control system for the paper mills industry.
Banishing foul odours from the paper industry
Earlier studies revealed the need for a reliable odour control system for the papermaking industry. This was a result of process engineering changes and increased use of recovered paper leading to higher levels of organic compounds and electrolytes together with higher retention times, temperature and pH levels.

The 'Smart odour control system to increase product quality, occupational safety, and safeguard the location and jobs, based on forward-looking tools' (Odour Control) project used a multi-disciplinary approach based on biotechnological, physical, chemical and process engineering tools to investigate the complex processes responsible for biological odours. Project partners developed rapid monitoring equipment for detecting odour creating microorganisms and compounds during manufacturing. Researchers also monitored product quality and emissions from paper mills to the surrounding environment.

Deployment of tailor-made countermeasures, such as environment friendly additives, were triggered using fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) and artificial olfactory systems (AOS). As a result, the Odour Control initiative has the potential to reduce the environmental and health impact of paper mills and help avoid civic and legal actions. Application of the countermeasures also removed the need for high-risk biocides to destroy odour-creating microorganisms.

The success of the Odour Control project has contributed to improving the quality of life for those working at and living around paper mills, as well as the industry's sustainability. This was done by reducing foul odours and the use of hazardous chemicals to achieve a cleaner, healthier local environment.

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