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Sustainable Air Ionized Odor Control Reports Huge Energy and O&M Savings Over Traditional Collect and Treat Technologies

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Polarized air ionizing hardware that produces positively and negatively charged oxygen molecules, or ions, but no ozone , will be discussed. This European technology has been successfully applied at wastewater facilities in Europe for over twenty years. Operating systems in the US now have a successful track record of over six years. The ionized air effectively oxidizes most air contaminants including hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, and other organic gases. In addition to providing odor control to the community and a safe work environment, air ionization is shown to prevent the corrosion of electronics and equipment while saving huge amounts of energy. Systems employing this technology have now been applied at many installations in the United States, and performance data has been obtained from these installations.

These ionizers are modular and can be installed in ductwork on the fresh air supply side of an existing or new ventilation system. Alternatively, small portable modules can be installed as self contained recirculation units complete with fan.

The power savings accrues in the low power costs to operate the modules (35 watts per module) plus the much reduced pressure drop through the air ionization system. These plenums are part of wide open HVAC systems with ion tubes extending into the air stream, thus creating little air flow resistance. This should be compared to traditional collect and treat systems with tight packed media that creates very large pressure drops.

At the 150 MGD Denver Metro Wastewater Reclamation District (Metro), a 45,533 cubic meters/hr (26,800 CFM) fresh ionized air system has been completed for the Solids Processing Building (SPB) basement, and a 16,700 CFM (28,373 cubic meters/hr) system for the Cake Storage Building.

The Metro air ionization system currently uses 1680 watts of power for the ion modules. This represents a total power savings of 98 percent over, for example, a biofilter, an 883 per year power cost and a 48,523 annual savings. Energy costs are predicted to escalate dramatically over the next ten years.

Based on the performance data from the facilities investigated, air-ionization has been demonstrated to be a reliable and energy saving solution for odor control. The system has a minimal footprint and low power requirements. The system has zero water usage and no chemical handling or storage. Both capital and operation and maintenance costs were found to be less than other options such as wet scrubbers, activated carbon, and biological treatment.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2008

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