Where their is odor, there is blame. And its usually municipal and industrial sites that get the blame. Most people never consider that naturally occurring odors could be the real source.
In fact, at Odotech, we used our odor measurement methods in private studies to show that the odor generated by some swamps was very easily confused with the odor from a nearby landfill site.
Swamp gas is produced by the fermentation of organic matter. The spontaneous ignition of this gas causes will-'o-the-wisp, which has given rise to many medieval legends. This swamp gas is a natural biogas consisting of methane and VOC, H2S, and various strong-smelling organic compounds, just like the biogas produced in landfill sites and methanization units. The tests showed that from a typical dilution level representative of the odor exposure to local residents, most people found it impossible to tell the difference between the swamp odor and the landfill odor.
Another example comes from urban areas where the residents are bothered by unpleasant odors like rancid butter or vomit. This odor comes from a beautiful tree: the Maidenhair tree, or ginkgo biloba. These trees have no seeds, but the male specimens have cylindrical catkins, and the female trees have ovules, containing butanoic acid. This chemical substance is the source of the nasty odor.
Another source of odor are the edges of bodies of water, that given the right conditions, are sometimes a source of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) odors. The proliferation of algae that can accumulate in stagnant water and then decompose anaerobically generates H2S emissions smelling like a sewer. In larger bodies of water, the tide can bring in organic materials and algae, which build up on the shore, causing major odors when they decompose.
As a factory or plant manager, you are no doubt conscientious about limiting the release of odors into your local environment. But it can be hard to tell how much of the problem is due to industrial or municipal odors, and how much comes from natural odors that are beyond your control.
The OdoWatch odor monitoring and tracking solution will let you determine the incremental impact of the odors caused by specific activities. With Electronic Noses (e-noses) positioned near the odor sources, combined with real-time 3D odor monitoring, you can tell your odor contribution apart from the general background smells.
This can bring significant savings in operating costs as well as reducing complaints and fines. Using OdoWatch's objective data to show the community, the authorities, and your neighbors the limited extent of your contribution to the odor environment, will be a benefit to your plan and put everyone under less pressure.
Industrial plant managers can now expect better relationship between their plants and the local residents thanks to a new odor smell devices that can help to monitor odor levels.
The CrazyEngineers Magazine recently published about Odotech Scientists that have developed an electronic nose sensor that measures and predicts movement of odors from industrial plants into the neighboring communities. Electronic nose sensor technology has been used in the past to determine food quality and detect explosives. More recent usage has been in the medical field where it has been used to identify residues predictive of lung cancer. Now the eNose technology is available for environmental management too.
Odors are a regular source of complaints from residents living near industrial plants. In the US, 70 percent of air quality complaints are related to odors. Industries should ensure a peaceful co-existence with the local residents by keeping track of their odor emissions. Currently, most industries are using traditional gas sensors to track various compounds present in plants odor emissions. However, the accuracy on the extent that the compound will smell to the point of being a source of discomfort to humans has to be done manually by human volunteers.
As reported by EFY Times, Odotech has adopted electronic nose technology and tailored it to address the problems of plant odor detection. With the electronic nose, waste plant managers can not only know the concentration of odors, but also determine the extent of the smell. The electronic nose can also predict instanteneous, weekly or monthly movement of odor from the plant into the community. As a result, plant manager can mitigate losses by having a clear estimate of the scale of the odor problem they are facing.
Odotech’s electronic nose is built using 16 sensors that react to smell differently like the human nose. Therefore, industries that use the technology do not need human volunteers to determine the extent of the smell emitted. This technology enables the detection of odors accurately. Odor problems can be see, identified and contained within a short time as the sensors, through Odotech’s proprietary software, can narrow down the source of the odors in the plant.
A number of waste management companies in the UK have already adopted Odotech’s electronic nose. The companies hope to use the data gathered through the electronic nose to optimize deployment of scrubbing methods in order to contain odor emissions.
See the full article from The Engineer.
When you spend millions to control odors at a public utility but still get complaints from the neighbors, then what? Many wastewater treatment plant managers find themselves in this situation. Plant upgrades often contain 10% or more budgeted for odor controls, but sometimes the odor problems still persist. So how much can you do for your neighbors? And how do you defend yourself when you suspect that incoming odor complaints might be the fault of a competing business?
One municipality, when faced with this problem, turned to real-time odor monitoring with OdoWatch before they invested more. At this plant, a neighbor continued calling to say that his outdoor business was being harmed by odors coming from the plant. While the plant wants to be a good neighbor, they don't want to devote money to the problem when they aren't 100% certain it will be solved.
They positioned OdoWatch eNoses near the two processes they think might be contributing to off-site odors at their neighbor's business. Over time, they have been able to see how the weather has interacted with emissions to cause odors that impact the neighborhood.
In just a few months, they got some surprises. Odor plumes leaving the plant did not behave as they expected. The summer temperatures actually brought more dispersion to the odors when they thought off-site odors would be more frequent. And autumn's cooler weather kept some of the odors closer to the ground. They were also able to collect data by odor concentration - how many times did odors of various concentrations reach our neighbor? And for how long did each episode last? Using this data, they will be build a case to fund more odor controls, which will be targeted right where they are needed. For more details and to see the whole article, please click here:
The French Magazine Pollution Atmospherique recently publishid an interesting article on the Odour impact assessment of an urban composting plant using an odour observer committee and comparison with atmospheric dispersion modeling results.
The odour impact assessment of an urban composting plant collocated with a landfill site was realized using observations and modeling. An odour committee composed of 43 observers was recruited and trained for perception and recognition of several types of odours in order to realize observations. Approximately 24% of observations revealed perception of an odour among which composting odours (46.4%) and biogas (22.3%) were the main odours perceived. Over 90% of composting odours were described as barely perceptible or of low intensity. It was observed that distance from emission sources has a significant impact on composting odour frequency exposure. Odour impact was also assessed based on sampling, olfactometric analysis and atmospheric dispersion modeling. A maximum odour exposure frequency of 30% of the monitoring period is estimated at the site’s limits, which is consistent with observations. A comparison of the observed and modeled composting odour exposure frequencies was carried out. Near the site, the performance of the odour dispersion model is good with a bias of less than 10%. The two methods used in this study to characterize the odour impact, either by odour observer committee and dispersion modeling, are considered complementary.
This study is one of the most comprehensive of its kind. The full article is in French and can be ordered on Pollution Atmospheric web site. If you would like more information in English, please contact us.
The main objective of the on site odor monitoring and surveillance program is to detect the impact of odors on neighbors by having them participate in any action undertaken by the operator or the municipality.
The odor monitoring and surveillance program consists of four streams:
- Monitoring study planning and development of a management system
- Selection, training and practicing with the citizens participating in the study
- Monitoring and supervision of study progress
- Statistical processing of collected results
Odotech offers six (6) or twelve (12) month programs.