The measure of annoyance odours from sewage tratment, landfill and agricultural practise has become highly significant in the control and prevention of dorous emissions from existing facilities and its crucial for new planning applications. Current methods (such as GC-MS analysis, H2S and NH3 measurements) provide an accurate description of chemical compositions or act as surrogates for odour strength, but tell us very little about the perceived effect, whereas olfactometry gives the right human response but is very subjective and expensive. The use of non-specific sensor arrays may offer an objective and on-line instrument for assessing olfactive annoyance. Results have shown that sensor array systems can discriminate between different odour sources (wastewater, livestock and landfill). The response patterns from these sources can be significantly different and that the intensity of sensor responses is proportional to the concentration of the volatiles. The correlation of the sensors responses against odour strengths have also shown that reasonable fits can be obtained for a range of odour concentrations (100-800,000 ou/m3). However, the influence of environmental fluctuations (humidity and temperature) on sensor baselines still remains an obstacle, as well as the need for periodic calibration of the sensory system and the choice of a suitable gas for different environmental odours.

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