Why A Clear Picture of Your Emissions Profile Is Essential For Proper Odor Neutralization

by Byers Scientific | June 24, 2021 | Blog | Cannabis | Emissions

With the 2018 legalization of hemp and more recent surge of state-level legalization for recreational cannabis, commercial cannabis cultivation is a rapidly growing industry. Yet, as commercial hemp and cannabis cultivation facilities spring up across the country, their neighboring communities continue to mount task forces, coalitions, and petitions for more stringent odor control measures. 

As a result, industrial hemp and commercial cannabis cultivators face a seemingly impossible task—to mitigate something that can’t be seen, is subjectively perceived, and around which very little research has been done to-scale: odor. 

Fortunately for commercial cannabis businesses, Byers Scientific and its Byers Emissions Analysis division have broken new ground in odor neutralization and mitigation practices. With our state-of-the-art emissions profiling and analysis capabilities, we’re empowering cultivators to make more informed, data-driven decisions and driving sustainable practices in commercial cannabis cultivation. 

What is an emissions profile? 

First, let’s start with the basics. All plants off-gas at a measurable rate. These gases contain odor molecules that are released into the atmosphere. In the case of cannabis, these gases can contain up to 200 complex compounds. Some of these odor causing compounds are perfectly harmless and might even be considered pleasant, while others create the telltale “skunky” cannabis smell that can be so divisive. Through emissions profiling, we can identify the types and quantities of compounds that are present in your commercial cannabis cultivation facility. 

Our state-of-the-art field and lab equipment, including a portable GC-MS, enables a suite of multimodal analytic capabilities including on-site trace gas analysis and highly sensitive detection of more than 200 plant volatiles, including terpenoids, organic sulfur, and oxygen and nitrogen compounds. 

Benefits of a thorough emissions profile analysis

Why does it matter? Because knowledge is power. A clear picture of your industrial hemp or commercial cannabis cultivation facility’s emissions profile:

Empowers strategic odor control

Imagine your facility is prone to flooding. Throw a few sandbags in front of the doors and you might slow the water seep but not prevent it altogether. Alternatively, stacking sandbags along every square inch of your facility is inconvenient and expensive (not to mention overkill). So, how do you find a balanced solution?

You start with data: where is the water getting in, when does it occur, and what is the volume of water? 

The same is true when it comes to controlling your facility’s “flood” of odorous emissions. With a site-specific emissions profile, we gain a deeper understanding of where, when, and in what quantities odorous emissions occur. Then, we use our experience, resources, and strategies, including advanced atmospheric modeling, to recommend odor neutralization solutions specific to your plants and your facility. 

The hard truth is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to controlling commercial cannabis odors. Acting as if your neighbor’s solution will also work for you is a surefire way to end up in hot water with the local community and regulators. 

An emissions profile supports sustainable odor neutralization

Not only does a clear picture of your facility’s emissions profile empower more strategic decisions, it also allows for more sustainable, less resource-intensive odor neutralization. Utilizing the information garnered during our on-site emissions profiling, including calculated  gas-phase emissions rates for all relevant plant emissions, we use our proprietary Cannabis Emissions Profiler™ (CEP) to calculate the optimal number of air exchanges needed to effectively and efficiently mitigate odor with our intelligent molecular scrubber systems. This scientific approach allows us to recommend the actual and exact number of odor control units you need for your facility. 

These recommendations are not just estimates based on square footage, gut instinct, or other external factors. They are data-driven and specific to your operation’s air dispersion patterns, your plants, and your odor control needs. Instead of a wet finger in the air, you get data at your fingertips, so you do not have to worry about under- or over-investing in odor neutralization. Instead, you can rest easy knowing that you are getting precisely what you need for your site’s unique canopy emissions profile. 

Protects against liability

While any commercial cannabis operation can claim they’re taking every possible step to control fugitive odors, cultivators with insight into their emissions profile have the data to back it up. As Dr. Cindy Orser, a prominent industry expert, noted in a recent interview with Terpenes & Testing Magazine, “Through identifying and modeling canopy emissions in real-time, Byers Scientific provides a factual, science-based assessment that benefits both cannabis cultivators and regulators.” 

Our facility emissions profiling services provide a factual, science-based assessment of the composition of emissions and their actual movement in the air, so nothing is left to chance or supposition during odor complaint investigations. For our clients, knowledge is not only power but protection. 

The future of odor neutralization is data-driven

As industrial hemp and commercial cannabis cultivation facilities continue to scale up, odor neutralization strategies must evolve. The first step into the future of odor mitigation will be data-driven practices and Byers Scientific is leading the way and making future-proof solutions available today. By gaining invaluable insights into your facility’s site-specific emissions profile, you can take steps to mitigate odor more strategically and sustainably. 

Plus, with the intelligent solutions of Byers Mitigation Technologies in your corner, you’ll always have the data you need to back up your odor control claims. Get in touch with the Byers Scientific team to learn more about our process, custom solutions, and more.