Autonomous Odour Alert System

Mesbah, B.1 and Micone, P.2, 1Airfobep, 2Odotech, France


Installation of a network of electronic nose system combined to an atmospheric dispersion software at
the ORTEC waste treatment site made it possible to validate the capability of such a system to provide an
objective measurement, in real time, of the odour nuisances perceived by the neighbours of a waste
treatment facility. The ORTEC site in southern France is composed of a sludge composting area and a
landfill site, both generating odours.

Three electronic noses were positioned on site in order to measure continuously the emissions of the
three major odour sources: the windrows of the composting area, the fresh sludge storage area and the
municipal solid waste of the landfill site.

The odour concentrations measured by the electronic noses were tested and validated using
olfactometry. The odour concentrations calculated by the atmospheric dispersion software were
compared with the responses of a committee of residents, whose purpose was to record the malodorous
events in the neighbourhood of the ORTEC site. The comparison of these two groups of data proved that
the odour monitoring system was able to accurately evaluate the level of nuisances felt by the
neighbours. When malodorous events were recorded by the members of the committee, the electronic
nose system had predicted significant levels of odour.

Correlations could then be developed between the observations of the residents and the predictions of
the odour monitoring system. The mean level of the neighbourhood exposure to odour‐generating
observations by the members of the committee was evaluated at 4.5ou/m3 (with all procedures according to European standard EN 13725).

Key Words
electronic nose, odour, olfactometry, composting, landfill, MSW

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