UCLA Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering

C & EE 200 Seminar

Thursday, October 12, 2017

4275 BOELTER HALL 11:00 to 12:00 PM

 Evaluation of Odor Problems in Air from Wastewater Plants


Professor Mel Suffet, and Students: Yubin Zhou Ph.D, Samantha Abraham,Ph.D.,  Scott Braithwaite ESE Intern,  and Alehandra Rodriguez-Vera, M.S. CEE
Environmental Science & Engineering Program
Dept. of Env. Health Sciences, School – Public Health, UCLA
Los Angeles, California

Reducing odor nuisances has been an on-going challenge for the management of wastewater treatment plants. Past methods used a “dilution to threshold odor method” that did not identify the odorants or the chemicals causing the odors. Also, hydrogen sulfide analysis was used as a known odorant. The “dilution to threshold odor method” method just stated the “Odor Is Removed”.  Since odors are caused by other chemicals besides hydrogen sulfide, how can one decide on what odor-controlling treatment to use?  A new approach of odor analysis has been developed to identify and quantify each odorant by analytical chemistry and sensory analysis with trained odor panelists. An odor panel is necessary since analytical chemical methods are limited by method detection limits inherent to each standard procedure, which is a better method because the nose is more sensitive to odorous chemicals than analytical chemistry methods. After the method was developed, it was applied to evaluating the odorants and the chemicals causing the odors at the Orange County Sanitation Districts Wastewater Treatment Plants. Then the approach was used to develop treatment methods to treat odor nuisance problems from the headworks at these plants.


Dr.I.H. (Mel) Suffet is a Distinguished Professor in the Dept. of Environmental Health Sciences and is one of the core faculty in the UCLA’s Environmental Science and Engineering Program. He is well known for his novel methods for taste and odor analysis in drinking water treatment system and is now applying his techniques for odor analysis and control in wastewater treatment plants.

Date(s) - Oct 12, 2017
11:00 am - 12:00 pm


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