West Fraser pulp mill in Hinton, Alberta, plans to install odor-reducing oxidization system by May, following reports of high sulfurous emissions in 2012, complaints from surrounding area; mill manager attributes spike to milder weather conditions

LOS ANGELES , March 26, 2013 () – West Fraser Timber Co. plans to install an odor-reducing oxidization system at its pulp mill in Hinton, Alberta, by May, following reports of high sulfurous emissions in 2012 and an increasing number of complaints from surrounding areas, the Hinton Parklander reported March 25.

The town’s air quality reports last year showed greater measures of Total Reduced Sulfur, which produces a rotten egg smell. Hinton mill’s general manager Brian Grantham attributed the higher numbers to milder weather and calm winds that have trapped the smell in the local area, though the numbers have shown improvement since November because of windier conditions.

Emissions were coming mainly from the effluent treatment pond of the mill, which is now working with nonprofit Forest Product Innovations to find solutions to the odor problem, Grantham said.

One of Forest Product Innovations’ solutions is the use of hydrogen peroxide to help neutralize the smell of sulfur compounds. Grantham said that the mill is looking for systems that can reduce odor through oxidization, and he projected that the installation would not be extensive and would come in below US$100,000, in addition to operating costs.

Other North American pulp mills have used hydrogen peroxide to improve odor issues. Though the chemical is potentially explosive, Grantham said the mill would be using a “very weak solution” and possibly a 5% solution that has the same strength as a solution from a first aid kit.

Mill officials had met with Alberta’s ministry of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, and Grantham said the province is pleased with the mill’s plans.

The primary source of this article is the Hinton Parklander, Hinton, Alberta, on March 25, 2013.

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