Conventional olfactometric techniques have been used to evaluate odours from sewage treatment and sludge storage facilities primarily in terms of odour concentration relative to their detection thresholds. However, such data conveys limited information that would be useful for determining the causes of most odours or the most appropriate remediation measures to be taken. Thispaper discusses some recent work undertaken to characterise the olfactometric profiles of different odours. Standard descriptive terms were used to characterise odours at normalised, moderately strong concentrations. These were used directly for the calculation of hedonic tone. They were also collated into a small number of generic odour groups and plotted to allow visual comparisons of different odour profile fingerprints. Such odour characterisations have proved to be very useful and may easily be incorporated into normal olfactometric evaluations.

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