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Bioscrubbers and Hydroxyl Generators: What Is the Difference?

Posted by Tom McArdle on 2/2/21

Odor control is an important part of the job for many industrial facility managers.

Some industries are more prone to problem odors than others, and if you work in one of those industries, you probably already know it! 

Odor control serves several purposes, including:

  • Making the workplace comfortable for employees and visitors
  • Protecting the health and safety of anyone in the space
  • Ensuring a good relationship with your neighbors and community

whats-the-difference-between-bioscrubbers-and-hydroxyl-generators-odorox-hydroxyl-groupThere are many strategies for keeping odors under control. Some are definitely more effective than others. When you want to do better than just masking the smell, two of your options are bioscrubbers and hydroxyl generators. 

Knowing the differences between these two methods will help you create the best odor-reduction strategy for your facility. 


Biological matter gives off a smell. Human waste, animal byproducts, and fertilizer are just some of the biological wastes that create smelly work environments. 

Bioscrubbing, which is sometimes referred to as biofiltration or biooxidation, is a process that is used to clean both the air and water of biological matter. This is accomplished by installing a treatment vessel that odorous air is forced through. 

Inside the vessel, acidic microorganisms work to break down and eliminate the smelly compounds. When the air is released from the vessel, it no longer smells bad because the source of the odor has been removed. 

This process eliminates odors associated with the following chemicals and compounds:  

  • Acetone
  • Ammonia
  • Carbon Disulfide
  • Ethanol
  • Hydrogen Sulfide
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Isopropanol
  • Ketones
  • Methanol
  • Pesticides
  • Phenol
  • Styrene

This is not a comprehensive list, of course. These are just a few of the common byproducts that industrial facilities use to eliminate odors. 

Who uses bioscrubbers?

Some of the industries where bioscrubbing is useful include rubber manufacturing, polymer production, paint production, waste sites for dangerous substances, cattle farms and slaughterhouses, and water purification plants. 

Hydroxyl Generators

Hydroxyl generators (HG) are another vital tool for keeping your air free from obnoxious and sometimes dangerous odors. 

These units vary in size and can be scaled up or down, depending on the specific needs of the person using them. Small HGs can be used in households and offices, whereas large HGs can take care of the odor in massive industrial facilities, including warehouses and manufacturing plants. 

HGs work to clean the air by re-creating the sun’s powerful ultraviolet rays indoors. In nature, ultraviolet rays trigger chemical reactions that break down biological molecules in the air. It’s a powerful and natural process that reduces odors significantly. 

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are the root cause of many odors in the air, including those that plague industrial facilities managers. Hydroxyl radicals (-OH) break down VOCs rapidly. They decompose the chemicals in the air and play a crucial role in managing the organic and inorganic compounds of our environment. 

HGs jumpstart this process and allow a safe and natural breakdown of elements to take place indoors, faster, and more efficiently than it happens in nature. 

Who uses HGs?

HGs are used in numerous settings. Because they react with as many as 5000 different chemicals and compounds to eliminate VOCs, they can be used in almost any industry. 

You don’t have to pick and choose. Use a comprehensive odor removal strategy for the most success!

These two technologies have different applications that can be used together in many industrial settings.

Bioscrubbers treat the microorganisms in the air through a pressurized acidic biological process, and hydroxyl generators help the remaining VOCs in the air to be broken down quickly and efficiently. 

When you need expert odor elimination advice, we’re here to help! Here at Odorox®, we have helped countless industries solve their odor problems with our state of the art hydroxyl generators.

Let’s talk to make sure that you are using the best odor-reduction strategies available! 



Topics: Heavy Duty Line, Industrial, Ask the Expert