Commercial cannabis growing, harvesting, drying and extraction operations all release odors that can be considered nuisance odors by employees and/or neighbors, at times requiring the Owner to take action and install cannabis odor control equipment. This blog addresses odors from the first three of these processes (cannabis growing, harvesting, and drying). A subsequent blog will address odor and VOC control for cannabis-related extraction processes.
Odors from cannabis growing, harvesting, and drying are typically caused by terpenes – a diverse class of hydrocarbon compounds that commonly have a strong odor – or terpenoids, which are terpenes modified by the addition of a functional group. The odors generated by these compounds range from a pleasant floral to a skunk smell, along with a multitude of other smells.
The best solution for cannabis odor control for growing, harvesting and drying processes is to use a small activated carbon adsorption system, as many cannabis operations with installed systems can attest. APC provides small, customized activated carbon systems (CarbonPure line) for cannabis odor control at growing, harvesting, and drying facilities. These systems include a high-efficiency pre-filter to remove very fine particulate, a small vessel containing a bed of the proper type and amount of carbon, a small blower to move air through the system, interconnecting ductwork, and instrumentation and controls if/as appropriate. There may be fewer — or additional — components than those listed depending on the customer’s specific needs; APC will customize each system to meet the customer’s requirements.
In the carbon bed, the odorous terpenes and terpenoids adsorb and become attached to the activated carbon in such a manner that they cannot escape from the carbon bed until the carbon is recycled in an incinerator at a carbon regeneration facility. And after recycling is completed, recycled carbon can be returned to the CarbonPure vessel to continue treating odors. Odor-containing air enters the CarbonPure system and clean, fresh air with no odors is discharged from the system.
An alternative to an activated carbon adsorption system is to use a “neutralizing” or masking agent that doesn’t actually remove hydrocarbons from the air; rather, it either covers the terpenes and terpenoids up (i.e., masks them) or reacts with them in some manner. A major problem with this approach is that employees, neighbors, etc. are still breathing in the masked hydrocarbon compounds or breathing in some reaction byproducts – which are chemicals not normally found in air. Activated carbon adsorption systems, on the other hand, completely remove the odorous compounds from the air and keep them out. For facilities that do not want employees and neighbors breathing in chemicals resulting from a masking or neutralizing approach, and the associated potential liability from breathing such air, activated carbon adsorption systems are the way to go.
APC has been providing CarbonPure activated carbon adsorption systems for odor control to many different industries for decades. Contact our experts today for your cannabis odor control needs.