Composting emissions

When organic materials are composted, volatile substances are emitted in significant amounts – many of them highly odorous. The composition and magnitude of these emissions depends on a complex range of factors, including feedstock quality, process type and scale, and operational practice.

Odours from composting facilities need careful management
Odours from composting facilities need careful management

Although composting is principally an aerobic process, local areas with limited oxygen availability are likely to add to the odour emissions through anaerobic metabolism.

The vast majority of composting facilities conduct at least part of the process in a contained installation. The process air is extracted and then treated to reduce odour emissions to the atmosphere. The air tightness of the installation and the performance of the treatment systems will determine the effectiveness of odour control measures.

Air extraction and odour removal assets typically require a large proportion of the investment cost of such an installation, and odour management is a significant part of operational costs. It is worth remembering that the sustainability of many composting facilities is in many cases conditional on the consistent success of the operator’s odour management procedures.

How can we help?

Drawing on our unrivalled expertise and experience in this area, Odournet can offer:

  • field assessments of odour emissions from diffuse sources in accordance with prEN 264086
  • bioaerosol sampling studies.

We also provide useful guides on odour management, so you can keep all the relevant information at your fingertips.

Need to know more?

Odournet has a strong background in organic composting – after all, it’s where our company history began, with one man’s project to investigate the impact of mushroom composting odours.

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