Wednesday, December 24, 2008

High-tech solution for paper and pulp mill odour

New technology developed by CSIRO scientists is helping pulp and paper mill operators to control the powerful odours generating during processing.
An assortment of various paper products such as toilet paper, paper bag, tissues, paper plates, paper towel, flyers and brochures.


Industrial point-source odours are relatively easy to locate and eliminate. However, until now there has been no cost-effective way of identifying the sources of problematic fugitive odour emissions that may escape from any of several hundred places in complex industrial facilities.

Inabilty to minimise escape of these unpleasant fugitive odours creates justified loss of amenity and anger among workers and residents from surrounding properties.


CSIRO has designed specialised, low-cost analytical equipment to accurately measure the amount of odour in and around industrial facilities and passing over adjoining properties.

The equipment can be used to create a precise chemical fingerprint of the most significant sources of odour that are escaping from a facility.

Specialised equipment can accurately measure the amount of odour in and around industrial facilities and adjoining properties.

In a recent application, the equipment was used within a kraft pulp and paper mill and at selected neighbouring sites.

There are several hundred points in kraft pulp mills from which odour can potentially escape into the atmosphere.

The CSIRO equipment enabled rapid identification of a single, previously unsuspected source of odour. 

Identification of the source enabled operating staff at the mill to take short-term remedial measures, which quickly alleviated the problem.

More importantly, the new information revealed by the CSIRO equipment enabled the mill owners to commission the design of a new odour control process that has consistently reduced mill odour levels to among the lowest in the world over the last three years.

Community acceptance of the mill has been raised to a level where a multi-million dollar expansion to double output has become possible.


We offer specialised odour management consultancy and research services to industry.

As well as paper and pulp mills, the CSIRO technology can be applied to other odour-producing industrial facilities:

  • water treatment plants
  • sewage works
  • panel board mills
  • petroleum refineries
  • food processing facilities.


CSIRO is continuing its research into odour management techniques.

By applying technologies and methods that result from CSIRO’s odour fingerprinting research, problems associated with industrial odours upsetting nearby communities can be tackled systematically and cost-effectively for the first time.

The new technology creates opportunies for plant operating staff to better understand and control process conditions that result in unacceptable levels of odour emission and to adopt world’s best practice.

Some industrial processes are inherently odorous and cannot be made completely odour-free. This applies particularly to large kraft pulp mills.

For such processes, correct siting of the facilty and provision of adequate buffer zones around it are the key to community acceptance.

Learn more about CSIRO’s research with Wood.

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