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, 56 (5), 675-83

Improvement of Odor Intensity Measurement Using Dynamic Olfactometry


Improvement of Odor Intensity Measurement Using Dynamic Olfactometry

John Jiang et al. J Air Waste Manag Assoc.


Odor intensity reveals a dose-effect relationship between inhaled odor and perceived odor sensation by the receptors, while odor concentration reflects the odor strength at the emission sources. The study reports significant improvements in experimental procedures in establishing the odor concentration-intensity (OCI) relationships using a newly developed digital olfactometer. The improvements in experimental procedures have been made to meet the requirements of both the VDI guideline 3882.1 and the European standard (EN13725). Several areas which could affect the reliability of the results have been identified in some similar studies. The latest digital olfactometer was calibrated automatically to ensure accurate and repeatable dilution ratios. Cross contamination has been eliminated through the instrument design and extensive cleaning procedures, making random presentation possible. Stringent panelist screening and continuous performance monitoring ensures consistent sensitivity of the panel. The extension of odor intensity category to temperature sensation gives a reference to assist judgments of perceived odor sensation. The DynaScent calculation method has simplified odor intensity calculation and can be applied to many odor samples. A total of 38 odor samples from three alumina refinery sites and two sewage treatment plants were collected for analysis. The results have confirmed the efficiency of the olfactometer. Distinct Odor Concentrations (DOCs) were calculated for each sample using both VDI and DynaScent methods. A student t test on two major odor types confirmed that there are no significant differences between two methods. The study has shown the DOCs for refinery odor and wastewater odor are in the range of 3.8-15.4 and 4.2-15.6 odor unit (OU)/m3 respectively. The study demonstrated that the improvements are critical in achieving reliable odor intensity measurement. This can lead to the setup of quantitative odor impact criteria for different industries and sites.

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