Cockburn Cement has sought works approval from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) to conduct a trial to improve amenity for local residents by reducing odour that may be emitted from the lime production process at its Munster plant.
The company is seeking to commence an odour neutralising trial in late December 2018. The trial will involve three separate stages over approximately six months, ending in June 2019.
The trial involves spraying a commercially available odour neutraliser called Aireactor OWD into the emissions stream prior to it exiting the two operational stacks at Munster. The odour neutraliser is sprayed into the emissions stream after it has passed through existing pollution control equipment, which removes nearly all dust and some gas compounds.
The neutraliser is primarily comprised of essential oils, similar to those derived from plants. It is diluted with potable (drinkable) water, atomised and sprayed into the emissions stream. The tiny droplets then capture and block odour, which will improve local amenity at ground level.
The neutralising agent is non-toxic, non-flammable, biodegradable and environmentally safe. It has been successfully tested and used in Europe, including at a similar Italian manufacturing plant. Cockburn Cement has also undertaken independent laboratory analysis of Aireactor OWD by NATA accredited Australian Chemical Laboratories, which has confirmed the agent is non-hazardous and non-toxic to human health, animals and the environment.
Brad Lemmon, Executive General Manager Cement and Lime said the company believes the trial will make a real difference in the local community by reducing some of the odours that residents report from time to time.
“As part of our Odour Management Plan we are continuing to devote considerable effort to determine the emissions source, profile and compounds for odour that may be emitted from our lime kilns. We want to obtain a conclusive understanding of the cause of odour, so we can adopt specific and targeted actions to reduce it. The neutraliser trial approaches the issue from a new perspective and will reduce amenity impact on residents while we address the source of odour.”
The odour neutralising trial will only address potential odour being emitted from the lime production process, so residents may continue to smell odour from other sources created by industry, waste and agricultural activities in the area around the Munster Plant that also create odour.
Cockburn Cement will analyse the reduction in odour via a process called olphactometric testing and other analytical methods agreed with DWER. The trial will also determine the best flow rate for adding the neutraliser agent into the emissions stream. Field odour surveys will determine the reduction of odour at ground level within the Munster plant boundary and the local community.
The trial will examine community complaints about odour during the trial stages by correlating these with the trial periods.
The results of the neutraliser trial will be assessed with DWER and communicated to the community in the second half of 2019.
All emissions from the Munster plant are well within National Environmental Protection Measure (NEPM) limits, which are set by the Federal Government to ensure that air emissions do not have an impact on people’s health. The Munster plant also operates within the conditions set by its operating licence, which is regulated by DWER.
Fact Sheets on the Odour Neutralising Trial and a Timeline, along with other information about Cockburn Cement’s environmental improvement and operational activities, are available on www.cockburncementcommunity.com.au/environment/fact-sheets/