Knocking out the dust

biOx’s Peter Heeney explains how the company’s odour and dust suppressant technologies are helping the waste industry reduce costs and align with environmental policy.

Odour and dust management specialist biOx knows all too well the risks of not dealing with environmental, health and safety operational issues in the right way.

With increasing Environment Protection Authority (EPA), WorkSafe and council requirements, dust and odours can no longer be managed with a simple garden hose. In providing a solution, biOx has leveraged its more than 20 years of experience across Australia and New Zealand to reduce business costs and help them find best practice equipment for the task.

Peter Heeney, Sales Director at biOx, says that risk mitigation processes are crucial to preventing superfluous costs and EPA scrutiny.

biOx works with landfills and transfer station owners/operators to provide a custom solution to the challenges within the industry.

“The nature of the waste industry is dealing with odorous products, from food scraps to organic matter that breaks down,” Peter says.

“Although a lot of it can be managed by operations in the facility, but it doesn’t remove the risk that you’re bringing a product into the facility that might smell before it even gets there.”

He says that some site managers will assume they can just hose their facility down, without calculating the added costs of doing so.

“What is it worth to a company to be issued an abatement notice over a site? That’s compared to paying a modest cost for an odour and dust management solution, allowing you to continue working uninterrupted,” Peter says. He adds that odour and dust management solutions were once considered an optional spend.

With the right technology in place, odour and dust can be eliminated. biOx are the Australian and New Zealand distributors for Spraystream. Spraystream uses cannon componentry and high pressure pumps to generate microscopic air droplets capable of weighing down and suppressing dust and odour.

The key to effective dust suppression is creating minute water droplets in the fine micron range that are a similar size to the dust particles the site manager is hoping to suppress. Splitting water up into micron-sized droplets increases the opportunity for dust suppression, including dust in the harmful particulate matter 10 size range.

For odour control, water is the carrier of a low dose odour elimination product carried within the droplet itself. Eliminating odours by oxidation or encapsulation renders the molecule odourless, preventing neighbouring businesses being adversely affected by a business’ operations.

Peter says Spraystream works in both high and medium pressures, with low volume nozzles that can be adjusted to suit the application – a key differentiator to competitor products. biOx systems come in medium – 20 bar/300 psi (pounds per square inch) and high – 100 bar/1450 psi pressure, low volume options.

He says many competitor products with low pressure units, or units without pressure pumps, create a much larger droplet that simply moves around the dust particle. This fails to collide with the dust particle and weigh it down, leading to further operational problems such as excessive surface water and run off. He says this is great for wetting down dust already on the floor, but ineffective at hitting the airborne dust fractions or keeping people safe from breathing these particles in.

Conversely, splitting a normal droplet several thousand times over creates a high surface area, low volume droplet – creating millions of opportunities to knock out dust. Many of the droplets evaporate, preventing unwanted runoff and welcomed cooling in the hot Australian climate.

He says finer droplets outside are susceptible to wind, while heavier droplets tend to be not so susceptible, so it is application-driven. Peter asserts higher pressure units are ideal for indoor and outdoor due to the impact on water volumes and operating costs. He adds that they are also suitable for very fine dust particles, such as concrete dust or asbestos.

“Medium pressure units are good outdoors, addressing both airborne dust and potentially dampening down on the ground, or a stockpile you can’t reach with your water cart,” Peter says.

“You’re minimising the dust being put into the air while addressing airborne dust.”

biOx is on hand to work with its clients and provide a custom solution to their individual needs, aiming to reduce their operational costs with a Spraystream configuration suited to their application.

“We understand the waste industry will have its own operational constraints and if we can save water usage, we’re going to be able to save on odour product usage and costs as well – adding value to our clients.”

As one example, its SS50i units (50 metre throw) have been used in New Zealand landfills to reduce water output and costs via high pressure and reduced volume pump options, lowering overall chemical consumption. The SS25i (25 metre throw) has also been used at a Melbourne landfill due to the low water volume consumption (6.5 litres per minute) and the ability of the cannon to be raised with a telescopic retractable tower to tackle large distances.

He says other products use steel componentry which can easily damage and rust, while the Spraystream is a fully composite, fibre-glass cannon, which protects it from becoming easily damaged, and a composite fan for added safety. Composite cannon construction, stainless and galvanised componentry work to ensure longevity in harsh environments, including landfills or for applications such as leachate evaporation.

“This would absolutely destroy other cannons out there. They just wouldn’t last, whereas we’ve got corrosion resistant options for durability,” Peter says.

Spraystream maintenance and operational costs are relatively low, he says, with smaller fans and smart design allowing air to be accelerated through the cannon. This aims to achieve larger throw distances with reduced power costs when compared to competitor systems. Pressure water pumps also help to lower water costs.

“I’ve seen some businesses out there with massive systems arguing they are capable of being blown by half a kilometre. On the other hand, Spraystream are about targeting sources of dust suppression and odour cost effectively.

“If we can get close to the source of the dust or odour and apply some fogging around that area, it is far better than doing it outside the building or on the periphery of your site. This is because you’ve got the same amount of odour spread out over a wider distance and its harder to control.”

He adds that biOx carries a number of its items in store for demonstration and hire, and can offer the waste industry a solution fast.