Test­ing for bad odours goes hi-tech

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - NEWS -

While odour emis­sions have been reg­u­lated in some coun­tries, odour emis­sions and per­cep­tion are sub­jec­tive.

In ad­di­tion, leg­is­la­tion and reg­u­la­tion of out­door odours is com­plex and in­ves­ti­ga­tion equally chal­leng­ing.

The tra­di­tional method of odour emis­sion de­tec­tion has been the sim­ple ‘sniff' method or FIDOL (fre­quency, in­ten­sity, du­ra­tion, of­fen­sive­ness and lo­ca­tion). Al­though still us­ing real people, sen­sory pan­els are now able to pro­vide ac­cu­rate and re­peat­able data to set ac­cept­able le­gal com­pli­ance thresh­olds.

At the fore­front of man­ag­ing odours are chemical en­gi­neers who use a range of abate­ment tech­nolo­gies to re­duce emis­sions, in­clud­ing: biofil­tra­tion; chemical scrub­bing; ac­ti­vated car­bon fil­ters; and reagents and mask­ing.

Peter Bad­ham, re­search and de­vel­op­ment man­ager at Air Spec­trum En­vi­ron­men­tal, says: “The man­age­ment of odour has never been easy for one sim­ple rea­son – people have dif­fer­ent abil­i­ties and tol­er­ance thresh­olds to smells.

“Vari­a­tions also oc­cur con­ti­nent to con­ti­nent. Odours from steroids like an­drostenone – which are found in both male and fe­male sweat and urine – are less likely to be de­tected in the UK and Europe than in the US.

“How­ever, out­door odour man­age­ment has be­come more so­phis­ti­cated and chemical en­gi­neers now have a range of so­lu­tions to pro­tect com­mu­ni­ties and the en­vi­ron­ment from un­ac­cept­able lev­els of emis­sions.

“Im­prove­ments in data pro­cess­ing mean that com­puter mod­els are able to ac­cu­rately pre­dict the odour foot­print on com­mu­ni­ties us­ing ro­bust me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal data..

“Al­though it is vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble to erad­i­cate all in­dus­trial-scale smells, odours like hy­dro­gen sul­phide are likely to be­come less com­mon in fu­ture years.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.