Washington, Aug 27 (ANI): A research team led by Indian-origin scientist from North Carolina State University has devised a new technique that can help eliminate foul odour and air pollutants from industrial chicken rendering facilities.
Rendering facilities take animal byproducts (e.g., skin, bones, feathers) and process them into useful products such as fertilizer. However, the rendering process produces extremely foul odours.
Currently, the industry uses chemical "scrubbers" to remove odor-causing agents, but this technique is not very effective.
Furthermore, some of the odour-causing compounds are aldehydes, which can combine with other atmospheric compounds to form ozone - triggering asthma attacks and causing other adverse respiratory health effects.
According to Praveen Kolar, assistant professor of biological and agricultural engineering, the inexpensive treatment process uses ozone and specially-designed catalysts to break down the odour-causing compounds.
The new technique with an effective filtration system takes advantage of catalytic oxidation to remove these odour-causing pollutants.
This process takes place at room temperature, so there are no energy costs, and results in only two byproducts: carbon dioxide and pure water.
The researchers developed the catalysts by coating structures made of activated carbon with a nanoscale film made of cobalt or nickel oxides.
"We used activated carbon because its porous structure gives it an extremely large surface area meaning that there is more area that can be exposed to the odorous agents," said Kolar.
The cobalt and nickel oxide nanofilms make excellent catalysts, Kolar explains, "because they increase the rate of the chemical reaction between the odour-causing compounds and the ozone, making the process more efficient. They are also metals that are both readily available and relatively inexpensive." (ANI)