The Award lauds PRD Tech for its continual commitment towards promoting a cleaner environment through odor control equipment that is both innovative and cost effective. The company's unique biotrickling filters very effectively treat odors and volatile organic compounds emanating from wastewater treatment plants.
While biofilters are the most common equipment used for odor control today, existing designs present a variety of problems. Firstly, they treat only hydrogen sulfide, ignoring several other organic sulfur compounds that are formed during the wastewater treatment process. Further, bacteria used to control odor often convert the hydrogen sulfide into sulfuric acid, which is of safety and environmental concern.
In addition, the carbon beds that are usually used in combination with the biofilters for more effective odor control/removal can handle only limited organic compounds. Higher concentrations of hydrogen sulfide and organic sulfur render the carbon beds incapable of breaking down these compounds. Regenerating the carbon regularly means higher operational costs.
"PRD Tech's biofilter combats all these issues and has provided a new dimension to the odor control industry, changing research and development focus towards introducing innovative biomedia and the manufacture of long lasting biotrickling filters," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Renee Chu. "This is also encouraging end users to opt for such economical and environment friendly biotrickling filters."
The company's biotrickling filter has many unique features. For instance, it oxidizes hydrogen sulfide present in the atmosphere into polythionic acid and not sulfate, using a bacterial species known as Starkeya Novella. These bacteria help to prevent the pH from becoming highly acidic, thereby reducing adverse environmental impacts. During this process there is also a simultaneous biodegradation of organic sulfur compounds such as mercaptans and disulfides, which are the main source of odors and not hydrogen sulfide.
Clogging of the biofilter media is another major concern PRD Tech's filters tackle. Clogging can be due to deposition of iron compounds commonly found in water and wastewater or biomass accumulation that can result in a high gas phase pressure drop, reducing the volume of air treated.
PRD Tech's biotrickling filter incorporates a randomly packed media known as the BM series, which can be cleaned while it is in use, thereby preventing the pressure drop. The biotrickling filter also ensures even distribution of water and air to prevent biomass accumulation. Unlike monolith media used in biofilters, the randomly packed media innovated by PRD Tech has a larger surface area and can be changed without causing any damage to the filter.
Significantly, the biotrickling filter from PRD Tech does not require an additional carbon bed for odor control and operates with just the biofilter media, which has proved to be highly efficient with an odor removal efficiency of 99 percent. Since regeneration and replacement of carbon beds is not required, PRD Tech's solution provides a cost efficient biotrickling filter.
"In addition to distinguishing product features, the company offers many value added services to its customers – designing, installing and maintaining biofilters as well as providing technical support for deployments that might have complex features that require expertise," notes Chu. "PRD Tech is also the only company to offer a ten year guarantee for its media used in biotrickling filters."
In short, PRD Tech has developed biotrickling filters that do not use harmful chemicals and hence cause minimal damage to the environment. As against all other odor control equipment, this equipment is fairly simple to use and is highly cost effective. With 99 percent odor removal efficiency, the biotrickling filter from PRD Tech is also gaining more acceptance among end users.
For its continual commitment towards product innovation and development, PRD Tech is the deserving recipient of the 2008 Frost & Sullivan Product Innovation Award in the North American odor control equipment market.
Each year Frost & Sullivan presents this Award to the company that has demonstrated excellence in new products and technologies within their industry. The recipient company has shown innovation by launching a broad line of emerging products and technologies.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.
About PRD Tech Inc.
PRD Tech, Inc. is a small business company, founded in 1996 by Dr. Rakesh Govind, Professor of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Cincinnati, OH. The company specializes in the application of biotreatment technologies for cost-effective treatment of air contaminants from any industrial manufacturing and/or municipal operations. Treatment of air contaminants in the municipal sector is mainly driven by odor reduction needs, while in the industrial sector, it may be required under environmental regulations, such as the MACT standards. Recently, PRD Tech has teamed with Tri-Mer Corporation, Owosso, MI, to field-test and design MultiPhase Biosystems for the Wood Products industry that has been mandated under the MACT standards to treat hazardous air pollutants, such as methanol and formaldehyde.
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