Enzymes rescue city from smelly chemical spill


In Mississippi, residents of Oxford have biology to thank for delivering their community from the rotten-egg-like stench of a recent ethyl mercaptan fill.

The odorant is mixed with natural gas to raise the alarm of potentially dangerous leaks. However, CenterPoint Solutions accidently spilled an undiluted batch of the smelly substance.

Local resident Mike Sanders told the Herald Courier the smell was unbearable.  “When you smell a gas leak in your community, you’re smelling it diluted to parts per million,” Sanders said. “Out here, this is the pure stuff, pure ethyl mercaptan.”

When hand excavation of the contaminated soil failed to deliver relief, ClearPoint told residents it had ordered a biodegradable enzyme that is designed to “eat” the odorant.