fermentation odours

Fermentation Odours

A major pharmaceutical manufacturer puts the lid on fermentation odours by installing Camfil's vertical industrial air cleaner.


This pharmaceutical company is among the world's largest and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The manufacturer is headquartered in the northeastern United States and carries out research and development and the manufacture of medicines, vaccines and medical devices for a broad range of medical applications.


There was a distinct unpleasant odour in the pharmaceutical manufacturer's lab and cold storage area where starting fermentation samples were stored. Continuous employee complaints of nuisance odours eventually circulated to management, and the concern was escalated. With all the scientists having access to the large, 45°F walk-in cooler, there was a reasonable amount of in-and-out traffic. Entering and exiting the cooler caused large blasts of odours, and doors were frequently left open while transferring products and samples. Within minutes of opening the cooler, odours migrated to hallways and nearby offices. The odours were primarily ethanol-based and not considered a health risk, but were extremely unpleasant and distracting to the people exposed to them. In the fermentation application, odours are associated with the process and although not harmful, the exposed workers experienced the odours as extremely unpleasant.


Incorporating an odour solution into the existing HVAC system was not an option due to space limitations, and incorporating system modifications was cost prohibitive. Continuing to consult with Camfil's molecular specialists, the biopharmaceutical company began to research alternatives. Camfil recommended a solution that offered immediate installation with quick results, and it only required the use of an existing 120V outlet. The small footprint of the recommended unit also made it easy to ft in the allowable space. The solution, Camfil's vertical freestanding Air Cleaner configured with molecular filters, would control the odour while providing a low-cost alternative to the biopharma manufacturer. Housed with 20 CamCarb canisters for removing the gaseous contaminant, the Industrial Air Cleaner vertical unit had a long life expectancy in the application with a carbon filter life cycle of 18 months.


The air quality concerns are no longer an issue, and the odour has been completely eliminated. Offices nearby are experiencing zero odour, and employees using the storage area are reporting major improvements with no odour build-up or unpleasant blasts of air. The Industrial Air Cleaner vertical air cleaning unit produced positive results immediately after installation, and it continues to successfully control the constant odours generated by the fermentation process.

A freestanding industrial air cleaner fighting fermentation odors
One of Camfil's freestanding vertical industrial air cleaners
“We've experienced immediate improvement in our air quality and the odour is completely gone.
Created Tuesday, 18 December, 2018
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